Skylar Everett

"Can't you only be happy if you're unhappy sometimes?"

0 · 424 views · located in Portland

a character in “Delirium”, as played by Adoration


❝ Sᴋʏʟᴀʀ Eʟɪᴀs Eᴠᴇʀᴇᴛᴛ ❞
❝ Tʜᴇʏ sᴀʏ ᴛʜᴇ ᴄᴜʀᴇ ᴡɪʟʟ ᴍᴀᴋᴇ ᴜs sᴀғᴇ ᴀɴᴅ ғʀᴇᴇ ғʀᴏᴍ ᴘᴀɪɴ ғᴏʀᴇᴠᴇʀ... Bᴜᴛ, ᴄᴀɴ'ᴛ ʏᴏᴜ ᴏɴʟʏ ʙᴇ ʜᴀᴘᴘʏ ɪғ ʏᴏᴜ'ʀᴇ ᴜɴʜᴀᴘᴘʏ sᴏᴍᴇᴛɪᴍᴇs? ❞

❝ Mᴏʀᴇ ᴛʜᴀɴ ᴊᴜsᴛ ᴀ ɴᴀᴍᴇ. ❞

People really close to her usually call her 'Sky', or 'Eli'. This usually means just her siblings, since she really only has one really close friend. Her mom used to call her 'Lala', because of the 'lar' at the end of the name. Now, whenever she hears the name though, she gets rather sad. She usually only lets her twin call her it now. All cures just call her by her full name though, like all cures do to everyone.

❝ Lala reminds me of singing, but it reminds me of my mom the most. Sometimes she'd go on singing Lala, over and over again, as if she had no care in the whole wide world. We sometimes would make a game out of it. ❞

Everett Sibling 4


❝ The same age as my twin. We have the same evaluation day, and we get the cure on the same day too! I just... wonder what it'll be like between us two, that is, after the cure. I have this one friend- wait, wait, I'm getting off topic. ❞


❝ I'm as female as I could ever be As female as my big sister, and that dog over there. Wait... is that dog actually a boy?! Well, never mind on that point... ❞

Physical Description
Skylar truly looks like a doll, with all her petite, soft, and fragile looking figure and features. You could say that to anyone that knows her, and probably they wouldn't ever try to argue with the fact. Standing at barely 5 feet tall, she has dark raven black hair, which goes quite well with her pale complexion. She has straight cut bangs, and her hair is pretty much in between being straight or being wavy. Messy, to put it simply. Her skin, as pale as it is, has a light pink tint to it, which is mostly noticeable when it comes to her cheeks. Her eyes are a stunning bright green, which stands out the most when it comes to her overall appearance. Along the edges of them there are flecks of gold, resulting in an illusion like sunlight streaming in through bright green willow trees.
When it comes to curves, she`s actually not really all that curvaceous, since her hips are rather small, like the rest of her appearance. She's very thin, to a point where you can see a faint outline of some of her ribs if you see her without clothes. She practically looks like she`ll snap like a twig at any moment. You could say she has anorexia, since her Aunt and Uncle consider her to. She tries to eat more, so people won't worry about her getting hospitalized, but she just usually isn't that hungry.
She's not all that busty as well, since her bosom size is a B. This is usually covered up by what she usually wears though, since she'll usually wear shirts that are a little bit frilly in the front, and you can practically always find her with a headband in her hair. She'll often wear dresses, as well, since she enjoys them. One of her favorite outfits is this one white spaghetti strap dress that's frilly at the top, but smooth everywhere else. With this dress, she'll usually wear black stockings, along with a white headband that has a little boy on the left side. Another outfit you can see her in often is a spaghetti strap top that's frilly at the top lining, along with some orange jean shorts and her white bow headband.

❝ I usually say I'm one of the 'normal' people. You know; those people who aren't ugly, but they aren't beautiful. Just, in between. One of those people you will look at only once when passing by. Sometimes I wish at least once I could get called beautiful by somebody. ❞

❝ Bᴇʏᴏɴᴅ ᴛʜᴇ ᴅɪsɢᴜɪsᴇ. ❞

To put it simply; Skylar is a girl that's hard to figure out and get to know, unless you're related to her in any way. She comes off as sweet, loving, and curious when she's around her family and close friends, and a girl who doesn't give much thought about strangers, but there's much more than that to her.
As said, Skylar is very open when it comes to her family, mostly her siblings. She's been like this her whole life, even though, when their mother was alive she was actually much happier. When she died, Skylar was probably hit the hardest by it, and for around two years she became almost completely mute, only talking around her five siblings. She now looks back at those times though, and calls it the times when she was shattered and weak. Now, she tries to be optimistic, and overall happy, thinking it as a way of being strong. Still, if someone ever brings the topic of their mother up, she'll immediately get very upset. Just give her something else to think about though, and she'll be happy all over again. That's another thing about her; she gets easily distracted.
Even though she knows that the cause of her mother's death was the deliria, she's still come to having a very intense curiosity about it, the cure, Invalids, sympathizers, what a world with love would be like, and much more. This might be because of how different her mother was when it comes to all the everyday parents you see, or maybe it's because she's just afraid of it, no one is really sure. Her twin might have an idea of why she's like this, but if he does, he's the only one. One of the main reasons is because of how distant siblings seem after getting the cure, or how parents don't care much about their own children. Sometimes she worries about her family, and what it`ll be like after they've all gotten the cure. This has gotten worse ever since the date of her older sister's cure has been approaching.
Truthfully, there are many reasons why she's so curious about all these topics citizens shouldn't give a second thought about. Sometimes you shouldn't even think about some of the things she's curious about. Her curiosity gets the best of her quite often though, but she's never gotten in very serious trouble, even though once or twice she's been close. She knows her twin always worries about her because of this, and she tries not to worry him, but she just can't help it.

❝ Everyone always says 'curiosity kills the cat', but, they always leave out the fact that satisfaction brought it back. And, is it really that bad to wonder? ❞

One very big fact about Skylar is her main fear; her fear of nighttime, and sleeping. This causes many problems for her; lack of sleep, insomnia, things of the sort. It also makes her a morning person, since waking up early, if she can actually fall asleep, is one of the only ways to make the night shorter. When it comes to 'surviving' the night, as she calls it, it usually takes her forever to sleep, and she can only sleep if someone's near her when she's trying to fall asleep. If she's ever alone in the night, she'll go to the point of almost breaking down someone's door just to try and dim her fear, even if it's just a little. What's so strange about this fear though is that, even so, when she's outside during the night, in a quiet, peaceful place, looking up at the stars, she'll almost be completely calm.
The reason why Skylar is so afraid of nighttime and sleeping is mainly because of the regulators, what happened to her mother, and the things that go on in the night. On the night her mother committed suicide, when the regulators raided the house, she was scared half to death. This was because of both the fact that her mother was no where in site, and she had always been afraid of the regulators. After that though, the regulators scared her even more. Once, a few years later, a long time after she and her five siblings moved into their Aunt and Uncle's house, on the night of a raid, she heard the regulators do two deathly frightening things. In one of the houses across from theirs, she heard a loud scream, and then a gun shooting. After that, everything went quiet, and it was easy to tell that someone had been killed. A few minutes late,r she heard the regulators killing the dog that the neighbors to their left owned. The next morning, when the sun was barely up, she spotted what she thought was a black trash bag, but it was really the black pit bull dog, covered in blood and dying slowly. Now, whenever she falls asleep, she`ll have often nightmares of being killed by the regulators, and of her mother jumping off a cliff.

❝ Sleeping... wouldn't the world just be... better without it? ❞

Besides all that, Skylar loves to have fun, and she's actually very clumsy, yet strong willed. She can also be very stubborn at times, but she always tries to stop herself from being this way. She's very close to her siblings, and loves to be around them; mostly her twin, and she'll do anything for them. Whenever she's scared or sad, he'll be the first person she goes to. She's fond of pestering him about giving her piggy back rides, and when she starts up about that, it'll take her forever to shut up, unless he gives in and gives her what she wants. Sometimes she can be rude to him, when he frets too much about her actions and what she thinks about, but she'll always end up feeling guilty after it. She can be like this around all her siblings though, since she can be very secretive.

Thoughts About the Cure
Since Skylar, and the rest of her family, have all grown up going to regular schools, reading The Book of Shhh, and thinking the cure will make them safe and free from the pain their mother left behind, she had believed everything, up to around two or three years ago. Now, she's started to become more and more curious about everything; the Wilds and the Invalids, the cure and the deliria, and sometimes she doubts all of what the government has told them. She keeps this to herself though, since she somewhat fears that she'll catch the deliria herself, even though she wonders if it will really kill her. Whenever people talk about her mother killing herself, she always says that it wasn't the deliria that killed her, it was her own choices that killed her. Even though one can easily say that the deliria altered her choices, she still doesn't believe that anymore.
Another thing that's affected her beliefs and thoughts is the two incidents with the regulators, and how distant all the cureds seem to be. She remembers, only faintly though, how much her mother and father loved each other. How passionate they were, both to each other, and to them. Then, she'll look at all the married cures, how they never hold hands, never ever kiss, and never truly care about their children.

❝ I know that they say the laws and the cure will make us safe and free from pain forever, and they must be telling the truth. But, can't you only be happy if you're unhappy sometimes? ❞

If you ever really confronted Skylar about her skills and abilities, she'll most likely get a little disappointed, saying that 'they aren't that special, and won't do anything helpful for her future'. Truthfully, she's amazing at art. When she was little, she would always see small canvases in art shops around town, and would pester her mom for art stuff. After a while, her mom finally gave in, and then helped Skylar save up the money for art supplies. After that, Skylar would always either be painting and sketching, or spending time trying to find ways to buy art supplies. Her artwork is very different from the ones you see in today's art museums though; all the art that's lifeless, and most importantly, loveless. When she and her siblings moved into their Aunt and Uncle's house, she then had to start hiding her art supplies, and artwork in the closet, knowing that they'd think something related to the deliria would be the cause of her bright, lively, and lovely art.
Besides that, Skylar always loves photography. She's never had enough money to buy a nice camera though, until now, so she's just been using the closet she shares with two of her other siblings as a darkroom. She's always wanted to go out past to border, into the forest, to take pictures, but she knows that's punishable by death, so she's afraid of doing so, and doesn't even dare to do so.
Also, with her small size, Skylar is very quick, light, and nimble on her feet. She's very quickly at running, and seems to skim over the surface of the ground. This also makes it easy for her to hide, and climb things.

❝ Mom always said I made my art lively and beautiful, but the Book also made it illegal. ❞

Likes Dislikes
Sweets Spicy food
Painting Nighttime
Her siblings Sleeping
Mornings Regulators
Photography Being stuck in one place
Goofing off Invalids
Curious things Raids

❝ Rᴇᴘʟᴀʏɪɴɢ ᴛʜᴇ ᴘᴀsᴛ ᴀɴᴅ ᴘʀᴇsᴇɴᴛ. ❞

When their mother died, Skylar was probably hit the most by it. For around two years, she became completely mute, not saying anything besides for a few words to her siblings. She cut herself off from the world, since her mother was no longer in it. Even though she heard all the people talking badly about her at the funeral, and everyone at school says the deliria flows through her blood, Skylar doesn't care that it is that way. She loved her mom, and she thought it was better that her mom loved, instead of treating them like all other parents treat their children, even if it had led to her death in the end.
Because practically everybody in town knows about what happened to the Everett mother, Skylar hasn't ever been that close to anyone in her school. She has around five really close friends, but everyone else are 'stupid idiots that think the deliria is contagious', as Skylar says.

❝ My mom was an amazing woman. You don't deserve to even talk about her. ❞

The Deliria
Johann Makota | ❝ Johann Makota? Who the hell is that? Is there even a Makota family in town? ❞

Hannah | Oldest Sister | ❝ You know, I always look up to Hannah, with her being the oldest and all. Ever since our mother died, she's been so much like a mother, and she's always there to make us all feel better. I wonder how she manages it all... ❞

Klein | Oldest Brother | ❝ Oh, Tux? He's so tall! Has anyone else ever noticed that? From all the way down here, he looks like a skyscraper! I wonder what he's going to get on his evaluation...
Okay, okay, I've gotten off topic, again... Anyways, he always looks tired, and he's always looking out for us. Has he ever tried drinking coffee? He should try that some time, even though coffee is gross. ❞

Theodin | Twin Brother | ❝ I absolutely love Theo, since he's my twin, yet I worry about him at the same time. Ever since our mom died, he's become so distant, even to me. I try not to show that I realize this all the time though, usually by pestering him about giving me piggy backs. It`s actually pretty fun to do that... ❞

Finnigan | Youngest Brother | ❝ Hm? Finni? Sometimes I swear, in my dreams, I see him as a fish! Really, I'm not kidding. You know, I guess he kinda is like a fish... Since sometimes it feels like he feels trapped in a little tank, wanting to get out. Or maybe it's just because of the 'fin' in his name... Oh well! Anyways, he shares the same curious trait that I have, so I gotta convince him to go exploring with me sometime! Maybe in that old abandoned Brooks place... ❞

Lucy | Youngest Sister | ❝ Ah, Lulu, always talking. You know, sometimes I always feel like the youngest, considering that she's even taller than me, by two or three inches at least, yet I'm older than her! Doesn't anyone else think that's strange? It's so annoying to be so short! ❞

All of her life, Skylar has had an annoying heart condition, one where if she over-exherts herself, her body will completely give out, and usually she'll be like this way for quite a while. She once was unconscious for three days because of it. This heart condition also will affect her in cold weather conditions, since if she's ever running or doing a lot of movement while the weather is freezing, or if she's ever just out in the cold for a while without something like a jacket and a hat, the same problem will come up. She was once hospitalized for a few months a year after she moved in with her Aunt and Uncle, and even though they insisted on keeping her there longer, she refused, not wanting to have money wasted on here.
Despite all of Skylar's curiosities, she's deathly afraid of actually attempting to figure out anything about any of them. Not that she'll ever let anyone know this.

So begins...

Skylar Everett's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Everett Character Portrait: Theodin Jaynar Everett Character Portrait: Helena Elaine Everett Character Portrait: Klein Everett Character Portrait: Finnigan Everett Character Portrait: Hannah Everett Character Portrait: Lucy Everett

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❝ Sᴋʏʟᴀʀ Eʟɪᴀs Eᴠᴇʀᴇᴛᴛ ❞
❝ Tʜᴇsᴇ ᴡᴇʀᴇ ᴛʜᴇ ᴍᴏᴍᴇɴᴛs ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴍᴀᴅᴇ Sᴋʏʟᴀʀ ʟᴏᴠᴇ ʜᴇʀ ɴᴀᴍᴇ. ❞

ImageThe morning sky was painted with soft, colorful pastels, as the sun started it's descent from behind the horizon line and into the sky. A few clouds were scattered here and there, blotting out some of the stunning sunrise, but they only increased it's beauty. If you listened closely, some birds were chattering constantly, getting roused from their nests in the scarce trees on the block. The pink and orange hues of the sunrise would soon disintegrate, leaving the sun to take over and make the sky a brilliant blue. Against the tri-colored rainbow sky, trees, powerlines, and the roofs of houses were like shadows. These were the moments that made Skylar love her name.

The sky. It was a part of her, well, a part of her name. It meant so much more than just that to her though. The sky was brilliant, lovely, and warm, and she paled so much in comparison with it. Yet, her mother had still decided to name her after it. Every now and then she wondered why for hours and hours, but sometimes she just accepted the fact that there was no way for her to know why, or even get close. She never dared to ever to think she could even compare to it, since that was impossible. Who would be able to compare to such a beautiful thing?

Upon the small porch of Carol and William's house, Skylar was sitting at the top of the steps. Leaning against one of the side railings, she was curled up in a small ball. A quilt and her own black hair draped around her shoulders and pajamas, fending off the very same frigid early September air that was nipping at her bare toes. She wasn't paying attention to this though, instead, her eyes were locked on solely one thing; the sunrise. Admiration, adoration, and awe gleamed in the reflective surface of her bright green eyes, at the sight of the unfolding sunrise before her.
It was around eight in the morning, maybe fifteen minutes before. Skylar had been out here ever since five though, sitting on the porch in solitude with only the quilt from her bed to keep her warm. As her mother had used to say, 'Skylar rose with the morning sky'. Of course, this wasn't true; it was only because of her insomnia and deathly fears of nighttime and sleeping that she never slept in like normal teenagers, and her other siblings. Sometimes she wondered if all of these would truly go away after she got the cure, since the scientists said anything like fears and worries would go away after the procedure, and she'd be happy for the rest of her life.

Breathing out, the black-haired girl watched as her breath formed what looked like a puffy little cloud. After two or three seconds, it faded away into the crisp air of the early Saturday morning, and Skylar did it all over again. She loved doing this; sitting on the porch to watch the sunrise, and watching her breath float through the air. It was one of her favorite parts of the day, and even though she did it over, and over, and over again, she never once had gotten bored of it. It calmed her down. It surrounded her with a peculiar warmth that drowned away all the tiresome frights from the horrid night before. It reminded her of her mother.

A tiny black-haired girl with bright green eyes sat on the porch, staring out at twisting sea of colors before her. She was dressed in only her pajamas, and had nothing to keep her warm from the chills that pressed and poked at her visible skin. She didn't notice this though, even though the surface of her skin was as cold as icicles in Winter. She probably wouldn't even have noticed if she had developed hypothermia by now.

"Lala, what're you doing out here?" The familiar voice came floating out from the direction of the door, and the sound of it closing followed it. The girl's mother was now standing on the porch, watching her little five year old black-haired daughter stare out across the sky. She had been talking to some of her other children, when she noticed the absence of one little optimistic girl.

The girl's bright green eyes specked with gold turned to reveal themselves to her mother, the girl having to twist her body a bit to do so. "Watching the sun come out," she said simply, wondering why her mother wasn't doing the same. "Doesn't everybody watch it?"

Her mother raised an eyebrow slightly, before laughing softly and walking over to sit down next to her feeble daughter on the porch, "Well, not everybody, but it sure is beautiful." Wrapping her arms around the pale body of her daughter, she almost pulled back as quick as she had hugged her. Her skin was freezing cold, you could even call it snow with it's pale complexion and freezing surface. A look of worry crossed her face, and she stared down at her daughter, hoping she wouldn't have a fever later, or maybe even the flu.
"Aren't you cold," she asked, before adding, "and tired?"

Confusion shone through Skylar's eyes as she blinked up at her mother, wondering why she even thought such a thing. Shaking her head, she pointed out towards the sunrise, silently wishing she could be closer to it, be surrounded and embraced by it's majestic appearance and colors. "No, it's morning, so doesn't that mean everybody's supposed to wake up?" she said. "And the fire's warming be up. Isn't it warming you up too?"

For a brief second, her mother wondered what she meant by 'the fire'. Realization hit her as quick as the question did, however, and she smiled softly as she glanced at the brilliant sunrise, drowning the town of Portland in colors of orange, red, yellow, and pink. "Just because it's morning doesn't mean you have to wake up, Sky..." she said softly, staring out at the sun as it inched it's way into the sky before turning her attention back to her daughter. "And the fire's very, very warm, and beautiful... But I don't think it'll keep you completely warm."

Skylar frowned a tiny bit, obvious disappointment showing through her expression. What did her mother mean the fire wouldn't keep her warm? It confused her greatly, but then again, she didn't even know that it wasn't a fire in the first place. "What do you mean?"

"Well," her mother started to say, but soon trailed off. She didn't want to say that it wasn't a fire, like how she didn't ever want to say she was infected with the deliria. It was better to let her daughter, and the rest of her children, stay happy for as long as they could. Of course, the truth would soon backfire at some point, but they were all so young. Theo had ever started to tell her that what she was doing was wrong, even though he was only five.
"Never mind. It's a secret." Smiling again, she leaned down and kissed the tip of her nose. "I'll tell you sometime."

A huff came in return to her mother's teasing, and Skylar stuck out her lower lip in a pout as she crossed her arms. This earned a bright laugh from her mom, which made her smile a bit again. "Promise?" she asked, not wanting to have to wait to know the secret.


At some point, her mother would tell Skylar the truth about the sunrise. Just like at some point, she would tell all her children about how infected she was. She wished she could just keep all these secrets locked up in a little box, and toss it into the ocean, freeing her children of all worries and cares. In this world, there was no possible way though, not even through the cure.
For now, she just had to continue smiling, even if all the smiles concealed drops of sadness.

Drowsily, Sylar's eyes fluttered open, consciousness slowly starting to come back to her. For a few seconds, she just remained there, leaning against the railing, wanting to sink back into a world of happy, yet saddening memories. There was a loud creaking sound filling her ears, along with what sounded like footsteps. Her mother, her mother, was she heading down the stairs of the porch in the night that she left? Was she maybe still alive, and coming up the stairs to sweep Skylar up in her arms? No... that wasn't the sound. Awareness then slapped Skylar in the face, and she sat up abruptly, glancing around with wide eyes. Aunt Carol was heading down the stairs inside the house, and, even from out on the porch, the sound echoed throughout the air.

She must've drifted off for a few minutes, as much as it horrified her. Pictures, thoughts, memories, and the sound of her mother's voice lingered in her mind, refusing to budge, and a fleeting forlorn look showed in her eyes. Push the thoughts away, push them away. she willed herself, tears threatening to fall. To her relief, Aunt Carol's voice then came to her rescue, distracting her to keep the memories from flooding over her.

"Skylar!" A muffled click followed the familiar call, and the sound of a window sliding open. Carol was already in the kitchen, probably preparing breakfast. It must be a pain to have to cook for eight people every single day, Skylar would think ever now and then. Then again, Carol hadn't offered to take care of the six siblings out of care or love, it was simply out of responsibility and family duty.
"If you get sick from being out there in the cold every single morning, don't expect to get any special treatment from me or William," Carol said, narrowing her eyes at Skylar. Skylar knew Carol never liked her habit of coming out here on the porch in the morning, especially since she always would come out before Carol was awake. This was almost just as bad as breaking curfew, in Carol's point of view. As Skylar looked backed at her aunt, she caught a look at the clock inside. Eight o'clock. She must've drifted off for only fifteen or ten minutes, which was a slight relief.

For the first month when the Everetts moved in with Aunt Carol and Uncle William, almost every single night, Skylar would come out onto the porch once Carol had fallen asleep, and would sleep out on the small bench, curled up in the thickest quilt she could manage to find. These nights were usually spent sobbing, and hiding in her little mass of blankets whenever she heard regulators pass by, hoping they wouldn't see her. Luckily, the regulators had never noticed her cowering on the porch, but Carol certainly had. She had been scolded countless times in that month, and at some point, she gave in. It was then that she started to climb out of the window in the bedroom she shared with Theo and Fishi, to crawl up onto the roof and sleep up there under the stars, and even now, she still does it sometimes.

"I know," Skylar said, her voice soft and honey-like, yet quiet, like if she spoke too loud she'd ruin the beautiful sunrise. To look at her aunt, she had to adjust herself a bit, despite the fact that she hadn't wanted to move from her comfy spot. "I've been making sure to bring the thickest blanket I can find out with me every morning, and I'll start to wear my coat as it gets colder." Of course, she'd probably get sick at some point, even with the coat, but she didn't care. As long as there was a time when the sun came up, lighting up the sky and ridding the town of nighttime, even if just for a bit, Skylar would be happy.

A tsk came from Carol's direction, and as she closed the window to keep the cool air from drifting in, Skylar heard her mumble something about how one day the regulators will probably get mad at her for being out on the porch so early. She simply disregarded this though, and turned her attention back to observe how much the scene of the sunrise had changed. The sky now looked like a sea of cotton candy, drizzled with many layers of honey. It brought a small giggle to Skylar's mouth, at the thought of what such a thing would taste like. Cotton candy and honey would probably taste gross. She'd have to try it sometime.

The little amount of sleep Skylar had gotten the night before now was taking it's toll, and Skylar's face turned tired. Nosing back up against the railing, she pulled the quilt tighter around herself, wondering if any of her other siblings had woken up by now. Maybe she would be able to go and pester Theo to give her a piggy back ride? Well, she'd go inside to see if he and the rest of her siblings were awake later, for right now, she just wanted to remain out on the porch, watching the sun's never ending climb. Anyways, if anyone needed her, they'd know where to find her. She wished she could just watch the sunrise forever though, the very same sunrise that washed away every worry in the world. Of course, she knew it could never last forever. There was always a beginning, and an end. Like life and death. Like when you are born, and when you get the cure.

I shouldn't even think of things like that... she thought, shaking her head as if it would literally shake away the thoughts. Standing up, she held the quilt around her shoulders as she went inside, rubbing her eyes to try and get rid of the tiredness.

"Skylar, breakfast should be ready in around ten minutes. Go wake up everybody else," Carol said, "William plans to head to the Stop-N-Save after breakfast, so he's already awake."

Skylar grabbed the quilt in one of her hands, and let it fall to the ground. A yawn escaped her parted lips, and she stretched her arms above her head, before replying to what Carol told her to do. "Alright," she mumbled, heading through the tiny living room before starting her trek up the creaky stairs. Hopefully Theo would carry her back down the stairs, since she really didn’t want to have to walk all the way back down the stairs.

"Theo, Fishi!” she hollered, finally reaching the top of the 'mountain', getting an irritated call from her aunt downstairs at the racket. "Tux, Hannah, Lulu! Dinner- Wait, wait… breakfast! Breakfeast's ready! Well, soon to be ready!”


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Everett Character Portrait: Theodin Jaynar Everett Character Portrait: Helena Elaine Everett Character Portrait: Klein Everett Character Portrait: Finnigan Everett

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❝ Finnegan Slade Everett ❞
❝It's always darkest before the dawn. ❞

It begins in the same way, every single night. In the land of dreams, nightmares preyed on the weak. They tendered their knuckles across Finnegan's errant temples, pressing down until they inflicted some kind of residual pain, some sort of reminiscent discomfort that could carry itself along in his consciousness. Like a leech, or a suckling patch of barnacles. He wasn't very strong in those vulnerable spaces, hunkered in some familiar room with his mother clutching tightly to her pillow. His mother's letter, already peeling like an orange made out of cream-paper, seemed to linger in the air. The words were stagnant and final, irreversible. It always ended the same, like a broken record, or a tape playing in reverse. Her dark eyes full of pain and longing — poet's eyes, rising away from the pillow to regard him. The windows would shatter inwards, releasing steady streams of water until she was drowning and he, caught between the porch door and the kitchen, was forced to watch her die. Why didn't she grow gills and webbed feet? Why didn't she, after all this time, learn how not to drown? The world didn't end abruptly like everyone believed it would. It fell apart in increments, tiny and insubstantial, until the grand denouement that was the loss of his father and mother. It ended so gradually that it snuck up on him and suddenly he was confronted with the undeniable fact that society as they knew it was over. Or else, it'd suddenly begun. He waited patiently, as the walls caved in. It always began the same, and it always ended the same. These dreams were more like a sigh than a bang, a slow, soft, stuttering gasp of someone on his or her deathbed rather than a nuclear bomb or a hurricane.

Finnegan sat abruptly in his bed, nearly knocking his head on the overhead lamp. His breathing came in ragged gasps, like a fish floundering on dry land. Skylar would appreciate the comparison. As if he were climbing out of a hole, or shaking off the last dribbles of a particular stormy day, Finnegan took a few deep breaths, concentrating them in his stomach, before hunkering his shoulders forward, as Klein had taught him to do when he couldn't control himself. Remnants of tears were quickly swiped away, under the guise of mussing up his shaggy hair. He reclined backwards, stretching his arms above his head like two flightless wings. Yawning loudly, obnoxiously. Dusty beams of sunlight sifted through their curtains, reminding him that he'd better get his sorry butt downstairs for breakfast – and just on time, he heard Skylar hollering up the stairway, followed by Aunt Carol's frustrated whoops at her being so loud, so early in the morning. His heart was still beating quickly, racing like a gunshot. He let his head list to the side, so he could glimpse slivers of the sun rising lopsided on the horizon – he liked being awake for things like this, because it was one beautiful thing that the Regulators couldn't take away. It signified more than time passing. He was sure of it.

His fingers were already dripping with unwritten sonnets, ballads, sonatas. He was so soft it was pathetic. Finnegan closed his eyes, and traced his eyelids, lightly, before dropping his hands resolutely to his sheets. Like a groggy hound snatching away from the porch-light, Finnegan yawned again, and grabbed a random sweater from the hanger, probably belonging to Theodin. They were the same size, so it didn't really matter – unless his brother bit his ear off for wearing it without asking. He'd pretend like he didn't notice, anyway. These were small, miniscule ways to pull him out of his shell. He'd rather be yelled at, then watch him skulk around in silence. For a couple of seconds, amidst the bickering, it felt like things were back to normal. It was better that way, even if it eventually drew them further apart. “Skybar. What are you... a time traveler? Skipping meals isn't healthy.” He called back, cupping his hand to his mouth before poking his head outside the doorway.

He mimicked blub-blub-blubbing down the hallway, puffing his cheeks like a fish, before flipping up a strand of her long hair, and pretending to masquerade as a man with a particularly long moustache. Just as quickly, Finnegan dropped her hair, grinning wide. He tapped his finger against his chin, thoughtfully. “Hope it's something different today. Carrot muffins, with cinnamon... and good luck waking the rest of 'em, I'm clocked out of watch-your-back-shift today.” Certain siblings were easier to wake than others. Others were reminiscent to grumbling bears, all claws and teeth. With a tune humming deep in his throat, Finnegan hopped down the steps to help Aunt Carol dole out the dishes and utensils. He always did.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Everett Character Portrait: Theodin Jaynar Everett Character Portrait: Finnigan Everett

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❝ Theodin Jaynar Everett ❞
Image Image Image
❝Maybe it was a twin thing, he honestly had no idea.❞

While it didn't surprise him to hear his twin yell out his name along with their four other siblings, it made his sleeples morning even less appealing. He often wondered if Skylar knew that he woke up most of the time when she did.Maybe it was a twin thing, he honestly had no idea. He knew for a fact Finn didn't wake up, that boy could probably sleep through a bomb raid right over their house. Well, their aunt and uncles' house. Not one part of it was theirs, save for the few things they brought with them from their mothers' house.

The thought set him to writhing inside. He hadn't even bothered to count the years since she had been taken away. She wasn't their mother, not by his standards. Pushing the thoughts out of his mind Theo stood up and stretched, the mass of scars twisting and pulling on his skin where it no longer grew. Some of them were old and faded, some where newer, pink and healing. But the one people noticed the most when they ever caught him without his shirt on was the one that started just under his let shoulder blade, wound it's way across his back, around his right side, and then crossed over his abdomen, ending just above his left hip. While it certianly wasn't his newest, it was probably the whitest, and certianly was his longest. All five of his siblings had asked him about it, and he had told not a one. Despite what he did, if anyone found out he was wandering out into the Wilds, it'd be a one-way ticket into the Crypts for him, but on the opposite side he wanted to be.

He wandered over to his dresser, his bare feet padding on the cold floor as he walked. He pulled on a simple black t-shirt, ran a hand through his shaggy mussed hair, and pulled on his jacket. He stared at his reflection. He looked almost haunted. A bitter smile crossed his face at that, and he rubbed his eyes, trying to make it look like he wasn't ready to fall asleep on his feet. He passed his younger brothers' empty bed on his way out of the room, raising one eyebrow. It wasn't often Finn was already out of the room before him. Maybe he had dozed back off and not noticed.

He walked out into the hallway, stopping next to his twin sister. By the look of her, wrapped up in the quilt off her bed and all red-faced, she had been outside. He had only known when she had woken up, and then he'd lain there in the dark. He never really payed attention to where she went or what she did, so long she stayed in or around the house. Letting out a slight huff, he looked at Sky and said, "You're going to catch your death of cold, getting up like this every morning. You know that, right?"


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Everett Character Portrait: Theodin Jaynar Everett Character Portrait: Finnigan Everett Character Portrait: Hannah Everett

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❝ Hannah Everett ❞
❝ Live simply, love generously, care deeply, and speak kindly. ❞

Hannah did indeed hear her name called. Skylar, she could tell. She'd already been awake for a while, studying busily. She couldn't go to college without the cure, and being as responsible as she was, she wasn't about to fall behind. She sat at an old wooden desk in her room, three books laid open, various lessons and chapters open. She leaned her arm on one in particular, the one she was making notes of as the others rushed to breakfast.

It wasn't like her to be flustered. No, she was always organised. Whether it was her room or her head. But something was troubling her that morning that she couldn't figure out from her books. She sighed, dropping the pencil and burying her face in her hands. She rubbed at her eyes, and straightened her back again. Taking a deep breath, she tried to relax, and lean back in her chair. A cold breeze was coming through the slightly opened window, and Hannah could hear the birds chirping. It was times like these cluttered moments when she wondered if birds themselves could fall in love.

Love. That was forbidden. Hannah didn't even know what to think of it. But then again, she wasn't supposed to think of it. Her cure was in 52 days. Her evaluation was in two days. 48 hours. 2880 minutes. 172800 seconds. Not that she was counting.. 172799 seconds.. But she was worried. Scared even. Ever since their mother's death she's tried to take over the role as much as she can. She knows she won't ever be who her mother was, and her siblings probably won't think of her that way, but taking care of others had become so easy for her, it wasn't a chore it was a lifestyle that she enjoyed.

But what had been troubling her most, even more than love, was a recurring dream she'd been having. It wouldn't happen every night, but sometimes different parts of the dream would play in her mind while she slept, and she'd put them together later. She'd found that the worst is when you remember the whole dream the second you wake up, then everything goes blank. You can't even put the idea into words. Because of that, she has a journal beside her bed, where she can quickly write down thoughts to help her remember. But the dream itself, was truly puzzling.

It's a sunset. That's all you can see for miles. The land is flat, barren. There's a woman in front of her, but her back is to her. In the dream Hannah knows she is to follow the woman. But she doesn't know who it is. As the woman walks, she follows behind. The same distance she started, not any faster or slower. She can't change her pace, and she must keep in rhythm with the woman.

The woman is wearing a long gown. It's black, and so is the veil that covers the back of her head, as well as the front. She doesn't speak, but Hannah knows she is to follow. The dream usually continues, and she eventually comes to a bridge. It is twilight now, but Hannah hadn't noticed the change in the colors of the sky, nor did she see a bridge as they approached until now. The woman stops in the middle of the bridge, and begins to weep. Hannah, suddenly shocked, wants to reach over and touch her, ask her if she's alright. But her arms are like like steal against her side, weighing her down. Her mouth becomes dry, and no sound will come out. The longer the woman cries, her moans of sorrow begin to echo.

Her tears become a flow off either side of the bridge, and soon they create a river. Though Hannah feels that she has not been standing there long, the river rushes in either direction. Suddenly the crying stops, but the river still bubbles. The woman begins to turn around. Facing Hannah, she can still reveal nothing of who she is, but the woman begins to lift over the veil.

She only reaches just above her mouth before she vanishes, but the small smile is something Hannah couldn't forget. The smile is so familiar, but also so distant. And suddenly, she's in the woods. Noises overtake her, ever snap of a twig and leaf rustling stirs her attention, she whips in any and every direction. There's a man who rushes at her, but she's too late to turn around. Her takes her hand and runs, leading her through the woods quickly.

Though she doesn't remember ever meeting the man, he is safe. She knows he wants to help her. She can hear shouting in the distance behind her, as the rush and dodge trees. They come to the brink of the forest, and they abruptly stop. He walks now, and drops her hand. As before, she follows. They come to the same bridge, but in her dream she does not recognise it as the one the woman cried on. The river is still flowing two directions, but it is night now, and the stars brightly show. The man doesn't cry though, her pulls out a single, white rose, and places it where the woman had been standing. As he turns to stand up, the dream always ends. Hannah wakes up dazed and confused.

Frustrated Hannah makes her way downstairs, knowing she should see that everyone is alright. She smiled at the twins as she passed, ruffling both of their hair as she passed, out of affection rather than ignorance. "Goodmorning, you two." she says cheerfully with a caringly kind smile. Her eyes soften as she looks at them, then continues into the kitchen. Like every morning, she and Finn help set up. Sometimes when Hannah wakes up early enough, she does the cooking to give her aunt a break. This morning hadn't turned out like that.

"Goodmorning Finn, Carol." She greeted them both.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Everett Character Portrait: Theodin Jaynar Everett Character Portrait: Klein Everett Character Portrait: Finnigan Everett Character Portrait: Hannah Everett

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❝ Klein Everett ❞
Sometimes, to protect those you love, things must be kept quiet.

It wasn't usually normal for Klein to sleep in the way he was - no, he was normally up just perfectly on time, which was right after the other two had left. Some always were confused as to how he could pull it off, for his days were spent going to class, keeping the family in line, and catching up on all the work he had missed from not paying attention during the night. No wonder the guy was always tired - his habits weren't in the best interest of sleep. Nonetheless, it was these habits that he had come to get used to, and Klein was sure that he didn't plan on giving them up any time soon.

However, this morning, Klein awoke a little after he normally would, and immediately started coughing. It wasn't a light cough, one that signified a cold was looming in the future: these were deep, and always ended with something being spat up. Klein instantly grabbed for his cloth, which sat on his night table, as the coughing got worse. He hated those little coughing fits he had, for they were getting harder and harder to conceal behind 'just feeling under the weather'. Recently, Klein had begun to doubt whether or not he was catching a cold, but he instantly dismissed the idea: it was thoughts like those that made him feel sorry for himself, and Klein hated self-pity.

So, after the blood began to soak into the cloth, Klein stood up, and started his morning like any other - Yoga. Klein had started back when he turned 11, since Mother's death hadn't gotten off of his mind yet. He was constantly on edge, and couldn't think of any way to release all of his pent up frustration. He didn't want to be like Theo, who pulled himself in and became more violent, and he knew he couldn't feel music as well as his younger brother Finny. So instead, Klein took up the practice of meditation and yoga, which worked wonders. As Klein moved through each and every one of the posses, gracefully lifting himself into the air and lowering himself back down, his mind wandered on the day. However, as soon as he did, his thoughts were immediately turned to that one girl, and his brow furrowed. He couldn't get that girl out of his head, for the uncertain hatred he felt towards her was curious. Klein knew though, that for yoga to be efficient, he needed to clear his mind.

Until he heard a holler from Sky.

Klein sighed when his sister yelled up to all the rest of the Everetts, chuckling lightly as he returned himself to resting position, and then sat down. She was an oddball, but one that was cute enough to get under your skin and make you love her anyway. She reminded Klein of a kitten in an odd way.

So, while the rest of the family slowly trudged their way downstairs, Klein sat on his mat still, meditating for a bit longer. As much as he normally kept a schedule, he knew he would have to cut his meditation short for the day, else he would miss breakfast. With that thought, he changed into his standard dress - for he really only had one type of clothing... - and slung his jacket over his shoulder. With everything prepared for him to head downstairs, he did just that, and was greeted by Uncle William and Aunt Carol, to whom he gave a smile. As he passed Sky at the bottom of the stairs -he had to duck so that his head didn't hit the door frame - he gave her a pat on the head and smiled. "Morning Sky, or is it evening? I cannot tell." He joked at her confusing the time period. Klein wasn't one for always making jokes, since most of his humor was those kind of jokes that made people go 'True enough'.

Ignoring his attempt at light humor, he gave a simple nod and muttered "Morning Theodin. before sitting down at the table to address the rest. "Morning Finny, HanHan. He gave a smirk at calling his big sister by a name not many really called her by. He wasn't sure if it was because it didn't stick, or because she didn't like it: regardless, Klein always got a smile from it.

Once he noticed that Lucy wasn't among any of them, e simply sat there and watched them go about their business. He rubbed his eyes once, since the lack of sleep always got to him in the morning - Klein wasn't sure why, but he couldn't sleep in to save his life.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Everett Character Portrait: Theodin Jaynar Everett Character Portrait: Klein Everett Character Portrait: Finnigan Everett Character Portrait: Hannah Everett Character Portrait: Lucy Everett

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❝ Lucy Everett ❞
❝ Sometimes, the difference between imagination and reality is slim. ❞

The two year old turned around at the sound of her mother's voice. She smiled happily at her mother, waiting for her to continue her sentence. When her mother did not continue to speak, Lucy bounded over to her, nearly stumbling over her own feet on the way, to which her mother chuckled. She picked the little girl up in her arms, before placing her upon her lap.

"Lucy, Lucy, Lucy.." she murmured, humor in her voice. "What have you done to yourself?"
Lucy didn't respond, not sure what the question was. She hadn't done anything wrong, had she? She glanced down at her dress, only now noticing the large, purple stain that covered the floral print. She blushed slightly, before putting a hand to her hair, which she could tell was wild.

"I.. I dunno, Mama," the little girl admitted, blushing. Her mother smiled warmly at her, shaking her head slightly. Her smile didn't reach her eyes, though, which were filled with sadness. Lucy took no notice of this, though, as she chewed the end of her sleeve.

Her mother gently pulled the little girl's hand away from her mouth. "Just remember, Lucy, that I-"

The sound of her sister's voice awoke her from her slumber.
Lucy opened her deep blue eyes, wincing at the sudden change of lighting. The rays of the rising sun shone through a crack in the curtain. She slipped out from under the green duvet cover before making her bed drowsily.

She blinked away the sleep from her eyes as she got undressed, and into some sweats and a loose tank. She knew Carol and William would most likely be annoyed that she looked a mess, but she didn't really care. She wasn't really bothered to dress up, and hopefully she could just stay inside all day. She grabbed a dark jacket before sluggishly heading downstairs.

Her dream still rocked around her head, unsure what to think. She had these dreams often, but didn't tell anyone. They were just dreams, after all. She was having a hard time deciphering what was imagination and what was memory.

When the fifteen year old entered the dining room, she wasn't surprised to see that she was the last one there. Lucy wasn't known for being an early bird, and she certainly wasn't a morning person. She sluggishly shuffled into the dining room, smiling sleepily.

"Moooorrnniiing!" Lucy said, her tired voice still louder than comfortable. She sat down in her usual chair, so short her feet could barely touch the ground, Though Lucy was fifteen, she could be mistaken for a twelve year old.

She ran a hand through her wild hair, then realizing what a complete mess it was, tried to tame it, but to no avail. She finally sighed and grabbed a hair tie from around her wrist, tying it in a messy bun.

"Hello, my dearest siblings," she said cheerfully, before chuckling. She sat and waited for breakfast.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Everett Character Portrait: Theodin Jaynar Everett Character Portrait: Klein Everett Character Portrait: Finnigan Everett Character Portrait: Hannah Everett Character Portrait: Lucy Everett

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❝ Sᴋʏʟᴀʀ Eʟɪᴀs Eᴠᴇʀᴇᴛᴛ ❞
❝ I'ᴍ ᴀ ᴛɪᴍᴇ ᴛʀᴀᴠᴇʟᴇʀ. Fʀᴏᴍ ᴛʜᴇ ᴘᴀsᴛ ᴏʀ ᴛʜᴇ ғᴜᴛᴜʀᴇ, ᴡʜᴏ ᴋɴᴏᴡs? ❞

ImageSkylar yawned as she listened to her siblings starting to wake up, and get ready for the day ahead of them. She was wondering if Hannah was nervous, with her evaluation only being two days from now. She would definitely be if she was her. After all, Evaluation Day was said to be the road to happiness.
When one of her siblings finally came out into the hallway, which happened to be Fishi, a bright smile lit up Skylar's face. As he asked her if she was a time traveler, her grin only grew.

"Of course," she exclaimed, crossing her arms and making a face as if he should've known this already. "I thought everybody knew this?" After he had entered the hallway, intimidating a fish on the way, she giggled as she watched him mess around, starting to fully wake up after two hours of already being awake. She always enjoyed being with her siblings, no matter what time it was. They always somehow managed to cheer her up after anything. Listening to him talk about walking up everybody else, and what was for breakfast, she watched as he headed off down the stairs to help Aunt Carol. Hopefully she wouldn't have too much trouble with everyone waking up... She knew what bad mornings were like for the household, and she always tried to avoid them, no matter what.

The next to come out was no other than Theo, her own twin. Instead of giving her a bright morning saying, he let out a slight huff and told her she would catch a cold from being out on the porch every morning. A pang of guilt filled her, and it obviously shone through her expression as she looked down at her feet, shuffling them back and forth some. "I just can't help it..." she muttered, avoiding his gaze as she looked up from the ground, to the hallway walls, and then the ceiling. "The sunrise is just so beautiful," Before she knew it, a smile replaced the guilty look, and she finally faced him once again, "You should come out and watch it with me some time! I promise that I'll start wearing coats and bring out the best blanket I can find!"

Before he had time to reply, she headed off down the hallway towards the bedroom she shared with Fishi and Theo, passing by Klein and Hannah on the way again as they said good morning. With a bright reply, she disappeared beyond the door, so that she could change. The first thing she did was head to the closet, obviously, but when she opened it, for a second, the paintings that tumbled out of it caught her attention. If Aunt Carol sees these... she thought, biting her lip and glancing over at the door. She finally threw a thin blanket from one of the lone corners in the closet on top of them, and shoved them into the most hidden place she could think off in the stuffed closet.
With that out of her way, she grabbed one of her favorite outfits; a frilly white spaghetti strap top, along with some bright orange jean shorts, and took off her pajamas to throw them into her little section of the closet. The good thing about sharing a bedroom with two boys was that it was definitely easy to know where her stuff was, and she would never get clothes mixed up. And, they knew not to touch her stuff, because they knew what happened when you dared to touch a girl's clothing.

Slipping the top over her head, before putting on some black tights and the shorts, she went over to the little desk with a mirror she had convinced Carol to put in the room. Observing her long messy hair, she grabbed the small brush on the counter top and brushed her hair until it was close enough to being straight. Grabbing a black ribbon off of the countertop next, she managed to put her long hair up into a high ponytail, before tying the bow in a ribbon around the hairband.

"I think I'm going to help Uncle William in the Stop-N-Save today," Skylar said, practically skipping out of the bedroom with her long black hair swinging behind her after shutting the closet and heading over to Theo. "You should come with me. Maybe we could stop and get some hot cocoa downtown, or stop by one of the beaches for a few seconds."

Completely disregarding her earlier thought of convincing Theo to carry her down the stairs, she stumbled down them herself, almost slipping because of the tights and her clumsiness. She quickly caught her balance though, and tripped her way down the remaining steps. Sliding around on the hardwood floor, she slipped and slid her way into the kitchen, seeing that breakfast was almost ready. It was then that Lucy, the youngest and last of the siblings to wake up, came into the kitchen, saying a loud good morning as she did so.

"Good morning you all," Aunt Carol said, not looking up from the food she was in the middle of making. "Just to warn you all, there's a dangerous storm said to be coming tonight, around eight, so don't be deceived by the clear sky, or the warm weather,"

For a second or two, Skylar took this in, grabbing an apple from one of the countertops and taking a bite out of it as she thought it over. The sky had looked perfectly clear when she had watched the sunrise. Maybe the clouds were just late on their schedule or something?

"I want you all to be home before eight, since me and your Uncle have a big day today, so we're also planning to head to bed by then. Be in your rooms, or at least inside. Skylar, that means no watching the sunset,"

Skylar rolled her eyes a bit, and huffed. The sunset was pretty, but not as pretty as the sunrise. It also meant that night was approaching, so why did people think it was so great? Night was so horrible, so scary... And just so dark! The stars were nice and all, along with the moon, but just... She couldn't even explain it. It was just plain out horrifying.
"I only like watching sunrises, not sunsets," she replied stubbornly, which earned a sharp glance from her Aunt. She quietly just shut up by then though, sticking her tongue out to herself when Carol turned away and heading over to sit down at the table.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Everett Character Portrait: Theodin Jaynar Everett Character Portrait: Klein Everett Character Portrait: Finnigan Everett Character Portrait: Hannah Everett Character Portrait: Lucy Everett

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❝ Theodin Jaynar Everett ❞
Image Image Image
❝It meant a perfect opportunity for him to go 'hunting'.❞

Theo grit his teeth together and said nothing as his eldest sister, Hannah, ruffled his hair. All it did was remind him of their mother, which only mad him seeth with anger. Klein passed, and made his way downstairs with a simple 'good morning', and he stood, stoic and silent as the others made their own way to the table. He sighed as he listened to his twin babble on about sunrises, and raised an eyebrow when she said something about him joining her. Before he could even so much as reply, she had bounded, and nearly fell, down the set of stairs, slipping through the house to the dinning area.

Shaking his head, Theodin slowly followed after her, and sat down just as his Aunt said something about wanting them all in before eight that night. Theodin stared down at his plate. A storm then? Storms usually meant scavengers and Invalids would be cropping up in town, wanting to get supplies so they could survive the storm. Which also meant a perfect opportunity for him to lurk around the fence, and prey upon those unwise enough to enter in daylight. Or he could slip over into the Wilds and do some hunting there, plenty of the weaker ones who would be left behind. To top it off, both his Aunt and Unlce would be out for most of the day. So long as he could slip away from his other siblings he would be just fine. Now all he had to do was formulate a plan.

He had said not a word to anyone since sitting down, instead staring intently at his food, deep in thought. He hadn't touched the food either. Anything said in his directions was either ignored or brushed off with a mumble.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Everett Character Portrait: Theodin Jaynar Everett Character Portrait: Klein Everett Character Portrait: Finnigan Everett Character Portrait: Hannah Everett Character Portrait: Lucy Everett

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❝ Lucy Everett ❞
❝ She definitely wasn't a morning person. ❞

"Good morning you all," said Aunt Carol, not bothering to glance up as she spoke. Lucy didn't bother with a response, just waited for Carol to finish her sentence. "Just to warn you all, there's a dangerous storm said to be coming tonight, around eight, so don't be deceived by the clear sky, or the warm weather." Ooh, dangerous storm. How exciting. Lucy smiled silently to herself as she listened to her Aunt, not really thinking about her words.
"I want you all to be home before eight, since me and your Uncle have a big day today, so we're also planning to head to bed by then. " This wasn't a problem, at least not for Lucy.

"Be in your rooms, or at least inside. Skylar, that means no watching the sunset."
This comment seemed to annoy her sister, who huffed with annoyance.
"I only like watching sunrises, not sunsets," Skylar replied. Lucy knew better than to ask the question she was thinking, which was, What's the difference? Skylar stuck her tongue out when Carol turned away, making Lucy giggle slightly, before Skylar sat down at the table.

"Hi," Lucy said, a slight greeting to her older, yet shorter sister. She traced little drawings with her finger on the table as she continued. "Err, what are you planning to do today?" she continued, awkwardly trying to make conversation. As stated before, Lucy as definitely not a morning person. This was her least favourite time of day, when her mind wasn't woken up yet, so she couldn't even have a proper conversation without seeming strange.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Everett Character Portrait: Theodin Jaynar Everett Character Portrait: Helena Elaine Everett Character Portrait: Klein Everett Character Portrait: Hannah Everett Character Portrait: Lucy Everett

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❝ Finnegan Slade Everett ❞
❝ I know the pathway like the back of my hand. ❞

Finnegan shuffled around the kitchen, passing plates along the table. He only momentarily stopped when he noticed Hannah gracefully shuffling down the stairs – sometimes, he wondered whether or not she was the only one capable of such a thing. They were a family of stomping feet, all moving forward, in different directions. He smiled gently, then idly waved, totting a fork between his knuckles. “Morning, Hannah.” He'd never given her a nickname because he liked the way her name sounded. It was bizarre, but it reminded him of his mother. Full of elegance, of peonies growing in a garden, or leaves crunching underfoot. It wasn't something that could be explained, but rather it could be felt in the pit of his stomach. She was light on her feet, quite graceful, and he imagined how well she might dance, given the opportunity. None of them danced, anymore. How could they? If they were caught doing anything out of the ordinary, then they'd fall apart. They'd be taken away to the Crypts, buried in governments beliefs, buried in silence, in darkness. Was she afraid? He was terrified for her, and it wasn't even happening to him. He had plenty of time. His fingers immediately twitched to his hair, combing through it's messy waves before settling against the back of his neck. He was already swimming in his thoughts. He'd wanted to approach her yesterday, sit her down, and see what she thought, or at least try to get her to talk about her – lighten the load, even if it wasn't enough. Instead, Finnegan only managed to lean against her door, racking his brain for proper words. Did she have bad dreams, too? Why was he in so much pain, watching her, seeing her like that, when the cure was supposed to be a good thing? Troublesome thoughts for a happy breakfast.

He'd have to talk to her later, if only for awhile. It almost felt like a final goodbye, a breathy, hoarse whisper before something terrible happened. Like letting go of someone's hand in a growing crowd and losing sight of them. A slight frown pulled the corner's of his lips before he turned towards Klein, tipping an imaginary hat and breathing out softly through his nose. “G'mornin', Fancy.” Fancy because he was classy. Because he managed to hold them altogether, while somehow remaining whole, untouched by the frantic, hair-pulling anxiety he was sure they all felt deep down. Even Theodin must have been affected when the lights went out, when they were supposed to be sleeping. Wasn't it eating him up inside, too? He'd realized it a long time ago, even before he understood how to weave words into poetry. How to express what he really felt. They were his truth, strength, hope – and he couldn't live without them. Like ink pressed to the folds of paper, composed of beautiful things: almost, but more permanent.

He shuffled through the cupboards, clinking glasses together, finally settling his fingertips against a particular mug. Finnegan gingerly tipped the pot he'd been watching, pouring something fragrant, and making a point to conceal it with his hand. It was almost funny. It was difficult to procure anything that wasn't regulated, that didn't fit into a particular family's habits. In all honesty, Finnegan hadn't come by the coffee by any conventional means. If anyone asked, then he would have told them that he'd bought it at the Stop 'n Save. He settled the mug in front of Klein, and grinned softly. “Might help a little, yeah?” Sleep marred Klein like bruises. It wasn't hard to see how exhausted he was, probably from trying to keep them together. To keep them from stumbling in opposite directions, like hardheaded kids.

“Mornin', Luce.” He blinked, once, then again. “And Luce's unmanageable hair.” Finnegan leaned against the counter until Aunt Carol shooed him away, waggling her fingers. He scooted away, hopping on his toes, before slumping in his own designated seat – because they all had their own sitting arrangements, unless Skylar was feeling particularly mischievous. Sometimes, Skylar and Theo switched, but they generally stayed the same. He leaned precariously in his seat, head listing over the back of his chair. He frowned thoughtfully at the window, towards the back of the porch. The sun was already creeping on the horizon, casting it's pastel colours against leaves, shingles, and streetlamps alike – never truly showing a distinction or preference because colours were as free as his words. She could light up the dark like that and make everything seem brighter, a little more hopeless. The tight knot braided across his chest, pushing against his heart, his lungs, came looser at the thought. He'd go see her. Hope to bump into her, or something. It was stupid, but necessary.

He'd be gone after breakfast. They were free from school – thankfully, because he was tired of defending himself. The fading splotches of yellow, sweltered beneath his left eye, was testament to his clumsy trips. Either way, if he said he was off for a run, then no one would suspect where he was really going.

To Shell Beach. To her, to her, to her.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Everett Character Portrait: Theodin Jaynar Everett Character Portrait: Klein Everett Character Portrait: Finnigan Everett Character Portrait: Hannah Everett Character Portrait: Lucy Everett

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❝ Klein Marth Everett ❞
A family will only stay together as long as their is somebody to lead the way.d

Hannah's little eyeroll did make him chuckle, but it was Finny's little comment that made his day. G'mornin', Fancy and a tip of the hat was all Finny needed to have Klein shake his head and chuckle. Sure, he knew that he was at the but of many jokes for his own clothing selection, but Klein knew the rest of the family and their own little quirks. Finny, for example, had a very intricate way with words - almost borderline dangerous, if you asked Klein. The kid could weave oddly placed words together and make a very moving statement, even if all he was doing was ordering something to eat. It truly was something, but since Klein had no clue how to do it, the jokes didn't 'write themselves' as the old saying went. So when Lucy bound down the stairs as the late one, Klein gave a mock scowl at her and her extremely unruly hair. He made no comment as he simply just smiled - everybody knew that the youngest needed something to be done with her hair.

Regardless of this, the entire family sat down at the table. Sure, Skylar had run off to do whatever she did, and people were constantly moving around, but not after long the entire Everett Gang was seated nicely at the table. They didn't know it, but Klein treasured these precious little moments, where everything looked just like it did so long ago. Granted, everybody looked a lot older than when he was 6 - and most of them could now dress themselves - but it still made him somewhat nostalgic. Klein's thoughts slowly drifted away into different times - like when him and HanHan would have their little talks. Klein considered Hannah to be his best friend, even if they had some conflicting views. He could not penalize her on not sharing the same faith as he - very few did have such strong feelings for the Cure as he did, with the except of Theodin. Regardless, they confided in almost everything together, since as the oldest they looked out for the family the most. While Hannah was more of the friendly type - if it wasn't for her unheard of hair colour, she would be just like mother - Klein instead tried to keep the family from going astray, keeping them in line, getting them out of trouble, that sort of thing. It certainly wasn't easy - his sleep deprived body was a testimony to that. However, Klein didn't mind as long as the family survived and strived to be together.

A mug was placed in front of him and Klein shook himself out of his little daydream. He stared at the mug in front of him, puzzled, until Finny spoke. Might help a little, yeah? Klein smiled and turned his head up to see Finny, and simply nodded. Coffee didn't taste all that good to him, since he didn't drink it enough: apparently, it was an acquired taste. Instead, if he could, Klein would drink tea - but that stuff was highly limited. He savored every time he got tea, and always was at his second most happiest when he did. Seeing the family together was always number one.

However, everybody started rhyming off what they were going to do today, and Klein stopped all train of thought for one single one:Wait, what am I doing today...? His confused look was extremely obvious for the entire family, but not all together new. There were many times when Klein hadn't a clue what he was doing for a few days on end until somebody reminded him. If he recalled correctly, Klein was sure he was heading into town today, working on his homework, and then just going to the special spot on Coronado Beach to escape and meditate for a while. Maybe he might score some tea while in town.

As long as he didn't run into that woman, he would be fine.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Everett Character Portrait: Theodin Jaynar Everett Character Portrait: Virginia Hearst Character Portrait: Finnigan Everett Character Portrait: Lucy Everett

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❝ Sᴋʏʟᴀʀ Eʟɪᴀs Eᴠᴇʀᴇᴛᴛ ❞
❝ Cᴜʀɪᴏsɪᴛʏ ᴀʟᴡᴀʏs ᴋɪʟʟᴇᴅ ᴛʜᴇ ᴄᴀᴛ. Bᴜᴛ... ʏᴏᴜ ᴋɴᴏᴡ, sᴀᴛɪsғᴀᴄᴛɪᴏɴ ʙʀᴏᴜɢʜᴛ ɪᴛ ʙᴀᴄᴋ. ❞

Skylar settled down in her usual chair, watching steam rise up from the stove Aunt Carol was crowding around. Possibilities were folding out in front of her, in her own mind. She could go to the beach, help Uncle William at the Stop-N-Save to get some money for art supplies, go get some ice cream, or maybe she could just see what Virginia was doing, to get rid of the decisions, even though she was almost sure that Virginia was at the beach. It amused her sometimes when she thought or said that- 'Virginia was at the beach'. If she went up to some person who didn't know Virginia, and told them that, they'd probably think she was crazy, saying a state was at the beach.

When Lucy came up and asked Skylar what she was going to do today, Skylar was snapped out of her trail of thoughts. Glancing over at Lucy as she propped her elbow up on the table, and rested her chin in her palm, she pondered over the question for a second. "Honestly, I have no idea," she mused, once again flipping through the possibilities. "There's so much stuff I could do, and this is only the first day of our week break! I don't know how I'm going to survive- I'll probably die from boredom!"

❝ Lᴀᴛᴇʀ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ɴɪɢʜᴛ; 8:00 P.ᴍ. ❞

ImageThere was only so much one could do in a day, but Skylar felt like she had done a lot, truthfully. In the morning, she had rushed down to Shell Beach after breakfast, mostly with hopes that she might catch an ending glimpse of the sunrise. In the end, she hadn't, but on the bright side, she had ran into Virginia there. After a while she had decided to leave though, since she didn't have her swimsuit- even though it was always suspicious to others when people swam, mostly people her age. And so, she had instead headed down through town for a while, particularly to stop at the ice cream shop for a quick treat. She wished that Theo, or at least one of her siblings could've come there with her, but they were probably all busy doing their own things. After that, she went to the Stop-N-Save for the rest of the day, even though there were so many other possibilities.

Now, after a day of work, she was almost completely out of energy. Falling back onto the couch- back in Carol's house, that is -she put a hand over her eyes, yawning loudly, "Ah, working all day is just so tiring," Rolling onto her side, she caught a glimpse of the clock in the kitchen as it ticked away to no end. 8:27 she thought. Aunt Carol and Uncle William were asleep, and the storm was supposed to be rolling in by now. She doubted there was going to be a storm though, since the sky had been perfectly clear just half an our ago. Then again, the light coming in from the windows had been dimming ever since she had gotten home.
Oh well, she thought, closing her eyes. It won't affect us anyways, since we're all inside. Maybe there'll be a black out though... Hopefully not for too long...

Black out. Power. Electricity. The fences. It was impossible not to wonder when thoughts like these came up. Did the Invalids have electricity? Were they safe from the storm? How did they even survive out there, in the world separate from her own; the world known as the Wilds. Wait, what was she thinking? Of course they didn't have electricity, they were living in the forest for gosh sake! Then again... what if there were cities out there, communities beyond her imagination? What if they had managed to produce there own electricity, and were doing everything she thought was impossible for people of the sort?
Jeez, she wasn't even supposed to be thinking these things. If anyone knew all the questions she had, she would be getting a definite tour through the Crypts, for them to 'remind her what all the consequences were.' At least she didn't actually attempt to figure out the answers to her questions... or, at least, she hadn't yet. Like everyone said 'curiosity killed the cat'. But... didn't satisfaction always bring it back?
In her case, hopefully it would turn out that way when the time came.

Now that all her thoughts about the Invalids were cluttering her mind, the cure just had to butt it's way in. First it started out with her thinking about how long it was until her Evaluation Day, then her cure... Then came the wonders about who she would end up marrying. She remembered when she was little, how she would goof off with her friends at school, and they'd all pretend that they had been paired with famous celebrities, the sons of millionaires, and a bunch of other impossible fantasies. Those times had been filled with daydreams about smiles and laughs, a passionate kiss to bring together a future mother and a father. Once her mother died though, everything had been torn apart... It was like someone had came and ripped every bit of happiness out of her. She started seeing different sides of the cure, started wondering what was behind the fence, whether it was something that brought violence and unhappiness, or joy and... love.
They said the cure would get rid of these thoughts, but would it really make her happy?

Opening her eyes once again, Skylar sat up, trying to think of something else to get all these forbidden thoughts out of her head. Skylar was easily read by practically everybody around her; and, like she sometimes heard from Theo, Fishi, and all her other siblings, 'she wore her heart on her sleeve', so she had to be careful when it came to her annoying curiosity.
One more glance at the clock, and a pang of boredom finally smacked her in the face. She let out a load groan, "I'm so bored!" She knew the rest of her siblings were home right now, so the only possible resolution to her boredom was to go pester Theo for a piggy back ride around the house.

❝ Mɪssɪᴏɴ XX023. ❞

Skylar Everett has been diagnosed with something even worse than the amor deliria nervos; boredom. However, we have finally come up with a reasonable cure. An unknown creature called a Theodin must be ridden in the art of piggy back rides for enjoyment, ridding the diseased of this horrible disease known as boredom.
Assigned Mission; Hunt down a Theodin, and pester him into giving Skylar Everett a piggy back ride of high quality.
Deadline; Before Skylar Everett is overcome by the disease to the point of no return.

That won't be too hard... she thought, abruptly standing up from the couch. "Theooooo!" she hollered, ready to attack with pestering, and expecting the unexpected. Right when she got to her feet though, the bag she had carried with her to the Stop-N-Save was knocked onto the ground, spilling it's contents everywhere, much to Skylar's annoyance. With a load sigh, she delayed the piggy back ride for just a bit in order to pick up everything that was now scattered on the ground.

It was then that the whole day fell apart, and shattered in front of her eyes.

It's not here... she thought, looking practically everywhere in the small living room with wide, panicked eyes; under the couch, under the bookshelf, on the table, under the couch cushions. It's not here! If anyone found it, she'd be dead. Uncle William would show it to Aunt Carol, and Carol would say that Skylar was infected with the deliria. She'd call the labs, and they'd reschedule her cure for the next Wednesday. She would never to be able to wonder, to ask, to daydream ever again.
All of this could happen over one single, little, bronze locket, with a picture of Skylar's mother tucked away inside. It was the only one she had left, and to make everything worse, her camera was gone as well.

Calm down, Skylar, Skylar thought, starting to pace through the living room in circles. You probably just left them at the Stop-N-Save, and they'll be there in the morning. You can wake up really early and take the key, then run there right before William gets there, and say that you're just so eager to work that you wanted to see if you could handle opening up the shop by yourself. Yeah, that's what'll happen, and when you get there the locket will be right there, on the counter, perfectly fine right next to your camera. It'll be over before you kn- Oh who am I kidding?!

Before she could have any second thoughts, she grabbed her bag off of the table, everything that had fallen onto the ground earlier back into their rightful place in the bag. She then ran straight up the stairs, and to the room she shared with Fishi and Theo. "Theo, Fishi," she said in a whisper just to be careful not to wake Carol, who's bedroom was only steps away, a pleading look in her eye as she spoke. "I, uh... left something at Virginia's house today, since I had taken a break from working to hang out with her earlier. I'm just going to go and get it super quickly. Please cover for me, alright? Just, stuff some pillows in my bed, and- I dunno! Please, just make sure Carol stays asleep! And Uncle William! I'll be back super quickly!"

Without giving either of them a chance to reply, Skylar was back sliding down the stairs, and running straight for the door, grabbing the keys to the Stop-N-Save from their rightful place on a hook in the kitchen, and sparing a second to glance at the clock. 8:35 P.M. It was a twenty minute run to get to the Stop-N-Save, but if she pushed herself enough, she could probably cut the time in half. Her heart condition slipped her mind at the moment, but she had no time to think about that right now! Oh, how she'd do anything to have Hannah's running abilities at the moment!

It wasn't that hard to avoid the regulators, with their loud walkie talkies making static sounds echo from a mile away. The one problem though was the rain, that was slowly getting harder and stronger. She managed though, even though she only had one measly hoodie to protect her from the bullet-like rain and wind. The run passed in no time, and even though it had felt like only ten minutes or so, it truthfully took her fifteen minutes. That meant it was 8:50 P.M., ten minutes till curfew. When she finally reached the shop, a group of regulators were coming up a street of other buildings, heading for a turn that led straight to the Stop-N-Save. Panic flooded over Skylar, and when she reached the door she fumbled around with the keys, all the dangers of what she was doing finally hitting her right in the face.

Just before the regulators turned the corner, she managed to open the door, and slam it shut behind her. Panting heavily, and forgetting to lock the doors behind her, she dove behind the counter, feeling the light of the flashlights from the regulators shining in through the windows, like millions of sharp eyes trying to sniff her out of the darkness of the storm. All she could do for now was hide, and wait for them to pass, and after that, the search was on. Fear was rushing through her, yet adrenaline secretly seeped through her body. Maybe it was the adrenaline of fear, or maybe she truthfully was excited- it didn't matter now. There was no running back to the house now, no curling up under her blankets and daydreaming about days spent with her mother. She could only wait, and hope that no one would come inside the shop once she started searching for her locket and camera, since they were obviously not placed on the counter.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Everett Character Portrait: Virginia Hearst Character Portrait: Finnigan Everett

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❝ Virginia Hearst ❞

Lie down below
Where can you go?
Sigh, slide, slow
You're just a shadow
Just a shadow

Ginny nearly had a heart attack when someone walked in on her during her private poetry fest at the beach. She had shot straight up, swept away all evidence with a quick scuff of her shoes, and tried not to look too guilty. Fortunately, it turned out to be just Skylar, who had randomly decided to drop by Shell Beach to say hello. Honestly, that girl was going to be the death of her someday.

(Although, in retrospect, she really should have known better. Skylar was the only one who knew of her secret hideout, after all.)

Fortunately (or unfortunately?) the visit didn't last for very long. After a quick good morning and an exchange of pleasantries, Skylar had wandered away, off to do whatever it was Skylar did in her spare time. Probably frolicking through a meadow or rescuing kittens from trees or something. Those seemed like very Skylar-esque things to do.

Somewhere in the distance, a seagull wailed. It was a mournful, reproachful sound, and reminded Ginny that she couldn't stay here forever. Time to go, she thought. If she dawdled any longer, it would make her mother suspicious. Maybe if she had time, she could come again later today.

"Goodbye," she said to the ocean. The water lapped quietly at the shore and whispered back a breathy farewell, a silky harmony of sighing chords. Ginny took a deep breath of soft loamy air before finally turning around to leave. She walked away to the sound of seagull cries.


At around eight o' clock, the door to the Hearst household swung open and a weary-looking Ginny staggered through. Her fur hat was tilted askew, her scarf tangled up in her hair and jacket like angry brambles. Grocery bags adorned her arms like Christmas tree ornaments. With one leg, she awkwardly closed the door and then lurched over to the kitchen, where she all but collapsed onto the floor. The only thing that prevented her from completely losing her composure was the presence of a stern-faced Marianne lingering by the counter.

"Hello, Mother," Ginny said evenly while trying to balance a particularly bulky bag on the countertop. With a sigh, Marianne reached over to the fat, clunky grocery bag and wrestled the unwieldy thing over to the refrigerator.

"Virginia," her mother replied with a disapproving frown. "It's terribly late. Do try to hurry up next time."

Ginny made a vague noise of agreement, but was too tired for a proper response. It had been a long day. After breakfast, she had briefly considered escaping the house to visit Skylar under the guise of a "school project" or "study session," but her mother had other plans. Apparently, Marianne had decided that early September was the perfect time for a little spring cleaning. Thus, the two of them spent the entire morning and subsequent afternoon marching around the house wielding dusters and dustpans. When evening rolled by, Marianne shoved a grocery list in Ginny's face ("I believe there's a sale today") and told her to be home by eight. Then she ordered her daughter out of the house and proceeded to attack the floors with a rather ferocious-looking mop.

Truth to be told, Ginny was pleased with the excuse to get out of the house. She finished her shopping as quickly as she could (at Stop-N-Save, she caught a glimpse of Skylar, but the girl was so absorbed in her work she didn't notice Ginny's hurried greeting) and managed to finish everything by seven. It was like this, covered head to foot in shopping bags, that she made her way to Shell Beach for a glorious break before finally trudging back home and arriving just a little bit after the curfew Marianne had set for her. And, well, it was tiring, dragging all those bags around everywhere. So her exhaustion was justified.

The telephone rang from down the hallway, shrill and insistent. Marianne paused in the unloading of groceries and shot Ginny a glance. "Oh, that must be Betty. Virginia, be a dear and take care of the rest." She hurried down the room, leaving Ginny alone amidst a sea of shopping bags. Ginny sighed and got to work.

Five minutes later, after storing everything in their rightful positions, Ginny realized that there was a grave problem. Specifically? She was missing a bag. And it was, arguably, the most important bag of all. In a rising state of panic, she double-checked, and then triple-checked, and then quadruple-checked all of the groceries. After scanning everything over for the fifth time, it was unmistakable. She could no longer deny the ugly truth that was staring her in the face.

The bag with the Pop Tarts was gone.

The bag. With the Pop Tarts. Was gone.

Along with her wallet.

Ginny fought the urge to tear at her hair. This was terrible beyond belief. Not only her wallet, but also the Pop Tarts were nowhere to be seen. Oh, hell, the Pop Tarts. Her mother was obsessed with Pop Tarts. Ate them every morning. When Marianne got up tomorrow and discovered their absence…

Ginny felt a shiver crawl down her spine. She was so, so dead.

Fortunately, Ginny was able to load everything by the time Marianne was done with her call. For now, her mother was still oblivious to the Pop Tart Plight. Of course, the happy illusion would be shattered the instant Marianne opened the refrigerator the next morning, but for now Ginny was safe. The girl trudged to her room and flopped down on her bed, but after ten minutes of lying there with her eyes open she realized that she just wasn't tired anymore. Funny how these things worked—ten minutes ago she wanted nothing more than to just curl up in her bed hibernate for a few weeks. And now? Now she was too nervous to even close her eyes for more than twenty seconds.

Shell Beach, she thought. It had to be Shell Beach. That was the only place she went to before coming home—she must have accidentally left the bag with the Pop Tarts somewhere at the seashore. Somewhere. By itself. Where it could be possible found. By regulators.

…Well, this sucked.

Ginny sat up and propped up her elbows on her knees. The way she saw it, she had two options.

1. Sneak back to the beach and snatch back the Pop Tarts. Oh, and her wallet, too.


2. Leave the bag where it is, and face Marianne's subsequent wrath in the morning.

On one hand, sneaking back would so get her killed if she got caught. But if didn't do anything, then she'd risk detection of Pop Tarts by hostile forces (i.e. regulators). And what if they traced the darn things back to her? And what if Marianne got wind of it? She wasn't supposed to be at Shell Beach. Shell Beach was swarming with rumors of the infected, and her reputation would be torn to shreds if her frequent exploits to the beach became common knowledge.

So. Should she sneak back, risk her life and brave the coming storm while breaking at least fifty laws? Or should she just wait here, safely in her room, and hope nothing would happen?

Ginny heaved a sigh. Put like that, the choice was obvious.

She went to her wardrobe and began to pull on a raincoat.

Ginny was cursing herself. Of all the stupid, thoughtless, harebrained

Thunder crashed, a distant gong that resonated with the light percussion of rain. Ginny shivered in her bulky rain gear as she crept along the shadows of trees and fences. Just to be safe, she took the longer, more tortuous route to the beach that barely anyone used. The storm, while terrifying, actually provided her a very good cover and it was relatively easy to slip past the occasional straggler rushing to get to their house before nine. The first time a group of regulators passed by, Ginny's heart nearly stopped, but they proved to be easy to avoid. The regulators were loud creatures, graceless predators who prowled down the streets and swung their flashlights like lighthouse beacons. Not exactly the most subtle people in the world.

At last she reached the beach. Her watch informed her that it was 8:28 PM, about half an hour before curfew. That gave her…not a lot of time at all.

She was scurrying along the dark shore and had almost reached her little hideaway when a jagged line of light speared down from the sky, illuminating the beach for a scant half-second.

The half-second was enough. For within that tiny timeframe, the storm had highlighted for her a lumpy outline of a human being. Ginny barely had time to wonder what on earth was this crazy person doing camping out here in a freaking storm before she lost her footing and smashed right into said crazy person.

Well. So much for secrecy.

No time left for this decision
Race and fly and run and hide
Tempest roar in rain-smeared vision
Roiling sea and crashing tide
Fallen from the storm's derision
Onto rocks that slip and slide
Stand up from a strange collision
Sigh and tend our wounded pride


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Everett Character Portrait: Theodin Jaynar Everett Character Portrait: Finnigan Everett

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❝ Theodin Jaynar Everett ❞
Image Image Image
❝There was no way they were going to get away with this.❞

Theodin was currently in his room that he shared with his twin and brother, peeling off clothes that were sticking to him due to sweat and blood. His side hurt, and his arms, but especially the fresh cut on his calf. An Invalid had been quicker than he had originally thought, and he would have a new scar. His leg throbbed every time he moved it. So it was basically aways hurting. He grabbed the bottle of tylenol, chewing three of them. He wished he had something stronger, but these would have to do until he could filtch something else. He sighed, stuffing the bloodied and torn clothes into a plastic bag to shove into the crawl space at the back of their closet that led to the attic. He was bare except for his pants when Skylar poked her head into the room, whispering urgently at him and Finn, who wasn't there, something about covering for her. She was so distracted, Theodin guessed she didn't notice the bloodstains in his hair, clothing, and the fresh bruising that was etching itself onto his skin. And then she was gone as soon as she had come. What on earth had gotten her so riled up that Virginia couldn't bring whatever it was to her in the morning, or Monday at school? Theodin ran over to the window, and watched Skylar leave.

In the opposite direction of Virginia's house.

Theodin's eyes narrowed. Why would Skylar lie about where she was going? He looked over at the clock. 8:36 PM. And so close to curfew. If she got caught...

Growling under his breath, Theodin grabbed a jacket and zipped it on, not bother to put on a shirt underneath, or socks, or even shoes. He quietly tiptoed down the steps, and out the door. Now there were three of them out of the house. Skylar, himself, and where ever Finnegan had run off to. Theodin sighed, sprinting off in the direction he'd seen Skylar go, racking his brains to try and figure out just where she was headed. The only thing up this way were stores. Possibly the Stop 'N' Save? He shook his head, ducking down behind someone's trash cans to avoid the lights of the Regulators. This was insane! If he got caught...He growled agian, not worried about the noise. The rain was drowning out most of it, so the Regulators wouldn't be able to hear him unless they were right on top of him. On the downside, Theodin couldn't hear them, either. And he'd lost sight of Skylar. He glanced down at his watch. 8:49 PM. He needed to find her, fast. He bolted out from behind the trash cans, racing down a back alley, and then shimmied up a tree in someone's back yard, peering out through the rain. He could tell by the flash lights where the Regulators were, and could just barely make out some of the buildings in the shopping district. His bare feet gripped the bark on the tree with some difficulty. The rain had begun to numb him all over, making it difficult to stay in the tree. But there was a Regulator fifteen feet away. Even with the rain, he didn't risk it. Skylar, I swear, if we both get home without anyone finding out about this, I'm going to strangle you! He thought.

He glanced around, and even through the rain he could see that the Regulator beneath the tree was the only one within sight of him. And then he got his chance. A stray cat yowled and the bolted from its cover over to someone's porch, and the guy whipped around, facing away from Theodin. Theodin let got of the tree, landing on top of the guy, and afer a short struggle, knocked him out. A part of him could not believe what he had just done, and the other part of him whispered, Only for Skylar... He clenched his hands into fists and ran off, looking every which way for Regulators, and Skylar. Where was she?!


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Everett Character Portrait: Johann Makota Character Portrait: Annette Makota

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❝ Johann Makota ❞
Even Kleptomaniacs Have Standards


Johann was in a state of awe. He'd been expecting a good haul, yes, but not like this. This—oh man, this—was pure art. A masterpiece. Johann Makota had truly outdone himself this time.

"I am so awesome," he said to himself, in a spectacular display of modesty.

He could hardly wait to inspect his findings, but managed to controlled himself for now. No sense in displaying stolen goods while still in town, after all. Even so, the wait was agonizing. The mere thought of what lay in his little knapsack made him want to wriggle with joy.

A scarf, a knitted winter hat, preserved fruit, a jar of pickles, cough medicine, a spiral-bound notebook, a locket, a fancy hair comb, a small stuffed rabbit, a camera…

Grinning in exhilaration, the boy fearlessly scaled the deadened electrical fence that supposedly kept Invalids like him out of Portland. He landed lightly on his feet, and then spared a few seconds to turn and stick his tongue out at the grim-looking barrier. Ha. Take that, fence. So much for government security.

After giving the sympathizer in the guard tower a jaunty wave of thanks—not that the man could see it, as it was pretty dark outside—Johann hefted his well-worn shoulder pack and took off into the moonlit woods, following the proverbial trail of breadcrumbs back to his home. The smudges of blue paint were really hard to see in the dimming light, but Johann barely paid them any mind. The forest path, tortuous as it was, was as familiar to him as the back of his hand. He grinned to himself at the thought. Well, I guess that's what you get when you sneak out to Portland about five times a week.

It was well into the evening when he arrived at the Makota house. The old, half-uprooted tree towered into view, its gnarled roots extended in a gesture of welcome. All around the house stood groves of murmuring trees, their crimson-tinged leaves fluttering like shadowy butterflies in the chill wind. Symphonies of hidden crickets sang in the tall grass, and somewhere in the velvet darkness an owl was crooning.

Johann felt something in him swell with joy. This place—this wild, vibrant, beautiful place—was his world. His home. And he wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

With a new bounce to his step, Jo bounded forward and scrambled up the huge tree. Passing quietly over Morgan's wreck of a room, he made a face (Geez, why Gizmo chose that room I'll never know
) before continuing over to the east side of the house. Right, now this was the hard part. Jo's blue eyes narrowed in concentration. With a heave of his arms, he swung himself over and barely managed to catch himself on the wooden edge of the windowsill. His limbs scrambled awkwardly for a moment before he managed to half-climb, half-wiggle his way through the window of his bedroom.

And…safe! he thought as he tumbled in. Fortunately, he didn't make much noise getting in, so his siblings probably didn't hear his super-awesome super-stealthy entrance. Unfortunately, he ended up breaking his fall from the window with his elbow. Which really hurt, darn it. There were going to be bruises in the morning.

After a bit of grumbling to himself, Jo eased the pack off his shoulder and onto the hardwood floor. He then proceeded to waste five minutes just staring at the glorious sight. It wasn't until a creeping line of drool trickled out from his mouth that he snapped himself out of his dreamy stupor. Playtime was over. Time for inventory!

Let's see… he thought, emptying the bag onto the floor. The notebook is definitely for Linny. Hmm…I wonder if Annie'd like the bunny? ...Nah, probably not. I mean, she kills those things on a weekly basis. He spied the camera and a grin split his face. Oh, the camera! Gizmo's gonna be over the moon. I think I'll give it to him…—he picked up the hair comb and spun it around a finger—…along with this fancy comb. The boy snickered at the thought, and then set aside the items for later. Alrighty, then, what else? I'm sure ole Paul would appreciate them vittles. That medicine, too. As for Al… Jo pinched the chain of the little bronze locket between his fingers and held it up towards the window. The soft sheen of moonlight rolled off the locket's shell. Beautiful, it was beautiful. Starry-eyed with admiration, the boy was struck with the sudden desire to dance a jig and sing Hallelujah. Oh, he'd never lose his love for shiny things. Never ever ever. This baby's gonna be a present for Al. Honestly, she's the only one around here who appreciates true beauty…though I wonder, does this thing open?

He was filled with a sudden curiosity. What did the interior of this adorable little locket look like? Was it empty? Or did it hold something? A mirror, perhaps? Or an engraving? His fingers found the tiny latch on the side of the locket, and with a gentle tug the bronze wings of the locket unfolded. What he saw made him feel like someone had punched him squarely in the gut.

It was a picture. A pretty little picture of a woman, with a gaze so warm it could melt icebergs. Off to the side was one tiny word.


Mom. Something inside Johann died a little. This was someone's mother. He had taken away someone's mother. No one deserved that, not even Portland zombies.

He had to give it back.

"Jo Jo Jo Jo Jo Jo Jo! Where aaaare you?" The sound of Annette's cheerful call drifted through the house, accompanied by a soft beat of light footsteps. His heart lifted a little at the sound of his sister's voice. For a brief moment, he considered asking her to come with him back to Portland. Annie never failed to chase bad thoughts away, and the two of them could treat the journey like an adventure.

No, I'm being selfish, he realized. Gizmo said there was going to be a storm tonight—what am I thinking, trying to bring Annie into this? His little sister was terrified of thunder. Taking her out in his weather would be beyond unfair to her. And besides, wasn't this whole thing supposed to be secret anyway? That was the reason why he went through all the trouble of sneaking into the house instead of just using the front door. He wanted it to be a surprise for his family. There was no way he was going to put all that effort to waste by blabbing to his siblings.

Well, then. If he couldn't tell anyone, then he'd simply have to suck it up and fix this himself.

The staccato of pounding feet grew louder. He didn't have much time; Annie could be bursting into his room any minute now. In a fit of mild panic, Jo sprang up and shoved the items under his bed, keeping only the locket. After a quick rummaging through his rickety closet, he seized his raincoat and changed into a pair of sleek black rain boots. (He didn't like the boots, but desperate times called for desperate measures.) Satisfied, he sidled out the window, making sure to close it behind him. Wouldn't want the rain to come in and mess up all his stuff.

As he bounded down the trees and back through the woods, Johann felt a bit guilty about leaving Annie behind. On most stormy days, he made sure to be with her every single second, distracting her with wild pranks and crazy antics. Laughter was best at chasing away fear and pain, after all. But now, he had something important to do. He couldn't stay behind.

"Sorry, Annie," he said to the gloomy sky. "But you understand, right? No one should ever be without their mom."

Fingers tightening around the bronze locket, he raced back to Portland.

- STOP-N-SAVE - 8:48 PM -

Here in the Land of Portland where shadows lie, people lived in constant fear of the Big Bad Regulators. They were abominations, evil wraiths that haunted the streets, corrupt tyrants that ruled the town with an iron fist—Invalids everywhere trembled in fear at their stunning efficiency and ruthlessness, and fell to their knees in despair—

Pfft. As if.

Johann swept through the town with ease. The rain was good for stealth, and avoiding the regulators was child's play. In the shopping district he passed by a noisy patrol, and wanted to laugh. These so-called regulators were ponderous things, wreathed in the crackle of transmitters and the shuffle of thick boots. Honestly, they were as graceful as hippos in high heels. He thumbed his nose at them before moving on.

It wasn't long before he reached his destination. Jo crept up to the building he remembered taking the locket from—some dinky store called Stop-N-Save—and slid over to the entrance. The door was unlocked when he tried the handle, which made his eyebrows shoot up in surprise. Huh. And here he was, all prepared to pick the lock, too. Bad security, much? Well, Jo wasn't one to complain, especially if it made his job easier.

The clunking of heavy footwear alerted him to an approaching patrol. With a quick snap of his wrist, Jo opened the door and darted inside, not bothering to lock it behind him. All he was going to do was deposit the locket on the counter and leave, so there really was no reason for him to secure the door.

The glow of flashlights filtered through the windows like pale specters. Jo blinked and glanced behind him. Oh, this wouldn't do—the light could very well expose him. Thinking quickly, the boy ducked behind the counter. He'd wait them out, and once they were gone he'd place the locket on the counter and leave. Simple, right? This kind of thing shouldn't be complicated at all.

Apparently, fate liked proving him wrong. Because the moment he turned around, he found himself face to face with a small, unmistakably human-shaped lump. Amid the shine of regulator flashlights, Johann could just barely make out a face.

He stared.

...Well, this was awkward.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Everett Character Portrait: Lucy Everett

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❝ Lucy Everett ❞
❝The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.❞

Lucy sat in the living room, her bare feet poking out from below the plaid quilt that covered her petite body. Rain bounced off the window, making tapping noises as it did so, making Lucy feel even more cozy than before. She curled up her toes in an attempt to make the feel warmer, before shifting the blanket to cover her feet, too.

Usually, Lucy hated rainy days - they meant no going outside, and not being bored. But today was Lucy's, in her opinion, well earned relaxing day, meaning that she didn't care if it was raining, she was staying inside, anyway. It almost made her feel warmer, comparing the heat of inside to the dullness of outside. Not that she would be outside at the moment even if she wasn't having a lazy day. It was past eight, meaning she would have headed in now, anyway, not wanting to risk forgetting about the time until after nine.

She felt herself drifting off, her eyes closing as her body slowy relaxed into the chair, when the door closing made her look up. Why was one of her siblings, or Carol and William going outside this late? She didn't think it was her Aunt and Uncle, anyway. They were both sleeping, weren't they? She was about to move, but laziness got the better of her, and she stayed put. She realized that it was probably one of them arriving back, anyway.

Which was when a shadow crossed the window, a short, petite figure. It was sprinting through the rain, away from the house. Lucy frowned and stood up, letting the quilt fall off her. She kicked it away from her feet as she walked over to the window, squinting out of it to see if she could spot who it was. No luck there.

Being the curious child she was, she was determined to find out who it was, or at least if she knew them. She walked out of the room to see if he could spot one of her siblings, and ask if they knew who the shadow was. Yes, she was overreacting about something small. But Lucy was a detective, or at least in her eyes. The rest of them probably just found her nosey. She realized that they would probably just roll their eyes at her and remark it was a figment of her overactive imagination, or a regulator, which it most likely was. Lucy didn't want this feeling of investigation to end though.

She finally decided that she would only investigate this further if one or more of her siblings were not at home. Meaning she had to find them, first. Lucy crept along the wall like a ninja, before tumbling into the kitchen, and bumping her head on the wall at her crooked tumble. She stood up and rubbed her head. Yes, the Everett's were a strange family, but an interesting one at that. Lucy was bored, and determined to make her own fun.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Everett Character Portrait: Theodin Jaynar Everett Character Portrait: Johann Makota Character Portrait: Finnigan Everett

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❝ Sᴋʏʟᴀʀ Eʟɪᴀs Eᴠᴇʀᴇᴛᴛ ❞
❝ Wʜᴇɴ ʏᴏᴜ ғɪɴᴅ ʏᴏᴜʀ ғᴀᴄᴇ ᴀɴ ɪɴᴄʜ ᴀᴡᴀʏ ғʀᴏᴍ sᴏᴍᴇʙᴏᴅʏ ᴇʟsᴇ's, ᴛʜᴇʀᴇ's ᴏɴʟʏ ᴏɴᴇ ᴛʜɪɴɢ ᴛᴏ ᴅᴏ; ᴛʜʀᴏᴡ ᴄᴀɴs, ᴀɴᴅ ᴀɴʏᴛʜɪɴɢ ᴇʟsᴇ ʏᴏᴜ ᴄᴀɴ ғɪɴᴅ, ʙᴇғᴏʀᴇ ᴛʜᴇʏ ᴍᴀɴᴀɢᴇ ᴛᴏ ᴛᴜʀɴ ʏᴏᴜʀ ᴡᴏʀʟᴅ ᴜᴘsɪᴅᴇ ᴅᴏᴡɴ. ❞

ImageSkylar stayed curled up under the counter, forcing herself to keep her eyes shut as she tried to stay calm. They're just passing by, and I have fifteen minutes till curfew, so it would be fine if I got caught, she thought reassuringly, even though there was this little nagging voice telling her otherwise. It'll all be fine. Even though she should've been worrying about worse things, she briefly thought of how glad she was that she had black hair, and such a small figure, which was perfect for hiding in the dark. If only she didn't look practically as pale as a ghost.

Of course, at the worst time possible, the world decided to turn against her. In one single second, she heard the door open and closed, and swift footsteps afterwards. At that moment, she swore that she had a vision of what was going to happen to her next. A regulator was going to grab her by the wrist, and ask her why she was out after curfew. Then, they were all going to think she had probably been planning to go and meet an uncured boy, and they'd drag her back home, only to schedule the cure the next day for her. That would mean no more painting, no more seeing her siblings everyday, and definitely no exploring!

Why hadn't she just stayed at home, read a nice book, and gotten a piggy back from Theo? Maybe it was a good thing that she had come, but anyone else would've definitely told her otherwise, since the person only an inch away from her face was most likely going to flip her world upside down. Gravity would let go of her, and she'd fall endlessly into the sky, never to return to the calming ocean of blankets on a nice, warm bed. She would be left wondering 'am I right side up or upside down?'

Feeling breath on her face, she hesitantly opened her eyes, wishing the person in front of her would be none other than Theo, or maybe Fishi. In the last quick passing of light from the regulator's flashlights though, she managed to make out messy blonde hair, and a pair of blue eyes staring right back at her. An unfamiliar face, seemingly just as surprised as she was.

If she wasn't in such a rush, she would've passed out right there from panic, and the fact that she had never been this close to a boy that wasn't related to her once in her life.

"W-Who...?" she started to whisper, since it was obvious that the regulators had finally passed by. She never finished her sentence, and instead just stared at him for a while before her eyes flashed to his left ear, just longing to see that three pointed star—the mark of the cure. If he was a cured, then she wouldn't get in trouble if she was found anywhere near him. It was her last hope to not getting in trouble, but then again, if he was a cured, he'd definitely blow her cover.
Her eyes met nothing but bare skin though, which seemed even more like a mark than the scar was in the world surrounding her—the mark of an uncured.

He must've just been a boy from town desperately needing milk, or something of the sort. Pop Tarts, maybe? She was lying to herself at this point, just trying to keep calm. He was probably a burglar, or a diseased uncured needing a place to hide in an attempt to go see the cause of his deliria. Panic replaced her sense of calmness, and she abruptly scrambled out from under the counter, trying to get to her feet but tripping a few times. Oh, damn her clumsiness right now.

"Whoever you are, get out of here!" she screeched, trying to sound strong and intimidating. Only did she end up sounding (and looking like) a frightened animal, scared of being shot or something. She reached out with shaking hands and grabbed a hold of one of the shelfs to pull herself up, before grabbing random boxes and cans and flinging them at the unknown boy. If she was making a racket, all she could do was hope that the regulators were too far away to hear.

The world was now focusing on this little, probably unimportant store in her mind. The Regulators, the cure, the Invalids, they all didn't mean anything right now. All Skylar wanted to do was to find her locket and camera, and then get the hell out of here.

There was one important question though, which she'd have to figure out before she could leave—where the hell were they? And despite her frightened actions, another question was prodding her brain, nagging at her to ask the blonde haired boy one thing; who are you?

When the supplies on the shelf that could be thrown, and wouldn't hurt the boy that much (yes, she was still a softy, even when this boy probably would threaten her life if she was found) was out, she froze as she was reaching to grab something else from a different shelf. Her eyes became locked on the bare counter, her mind and instincts completely betraying her as she blankly stared straight ahead.

Tears stung at the corners of her eyes, and she left herself fall back down into a sitting position against the shelf. Her locket and camera weren't there. She had sworn they would've been, and if they weren't there, that could mean only one thing...

Uncle William had found them.

"No, no," she mumbled, putting her hands on her head and burying her face in her knees. If her shoulders weren't starting to violently shake, and if there weren't tears now rolling down her hidden cheeks, the way she looked almost could've been funny, since she almost looked like a curled up ball. "I had put it right there! On the counter!"

The boy was probably staring at her like a freak now, but she didn't care. She didn't even care that there was a boy here now. Anyone would say she could buy a new camera and locket, and even though she could buy a new camera (even though it would be a pain), there was one little problem. The last picture of her mother that she owned had been in that very locket, folded up and tucked away to be kept forever. It was the only way for her to remember the face of her mother, who had died so long ago.

She had thought about it many times, how sad it was that when someone leaves you or dies, the picture of them in your mind starts to slowly get fuzzy, and then blurry. The colors start to blend together, and it makes you feel like your drowning. It's like teardrops on a photograph, smudging the colors and details around, making it so nothing can be made out from it. And then it keeps getting worse, and worse, and worse, until the only thing you can remember about them is all the memories. Time will never cease to be cruel though, and seems to pull that away from your fingertips soon enough.

All will be left is a photograph with mixed up colors, and scattered memories dancing on the tip of your tongue.

When it had started happening to her though, she got frightened, and scared. Her mother had already left her once, and she didn't want her to leave again. So, to make sure it would never happen to her, she tucked the last picture she had of her, which she had hid from everyone else, in a little bronze locket. With the promise of the words 'Mom', she had then clung onto that little locket like how she clung to her siblings, and the morning sunrise.

She had depended upon it, until now. Now, all that was left behind was faint memories, and spoken words from the past, along with some random blonde boy in front of her, who, little did she know, had the very thing she was sobbing about tucked away along with him.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Everett Character Portrait: Theodin Jaynar Everett Character Portrait: Johann Makota Character Portrait: Annette Makota

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❝ Theodin Jaynar Everett ❞
Image Image Image
❝Great, she was crying. In the middle of a thunderstorm. And he still hadn't found Skylar. This night just kept getting better and better....❞

Theodin was standing there, just looking around, when suddenly, he tumbled forward. Well, it was more like he was pushed forward. Theodin launched his hands out and rolled as he fell, springing to his feet and spinning around, crouching and glaring at his assailant. Was it a Regulator, had he been caught?

"Oh please, don’t make me a civilized savage. Jo, oh, I hate you I hate you!"

Theodin stood up, completely confused, and said, "Look, uh...I'm, I'm not whoever this Jo person is--" Lightning flashed and was then followed by thunder, at which point the girl burst into tears. Theodin just stared at her for a second, and then the rain began to calm a bit. While he was sure it would pick back up, for now, her sobbing was loud enough that he was afraid the Regulators might hear her and catch them. Frantically, not knowing what else to do, he knelt next to her. "Hey, come on, be quiet!" He whispered at her urgently. "Please, the Regulators are going to hear you! What the hell are you crying about anyway!" He wasn't making any progress, that he could tell. It was then that he saw -and heard- a Regulator. Theodin didn't have any choice. He needed to run. But a part of him couldn't just leave this sobbing girl, as pathetic as she seemed, here for the regulators as bait. He sighed, annoyed. He normally wouldn't have any problem leaving someone at the mercy of the Regulators. They probably deserved it. But then the voice in his head whispered, What if it was Skylar? Gritting his teeth, he glanced around, seeing that they were only about a hundred yards away from what appeared to be an old, abandoned store.

Not bothering to even ask what she thought, or wondering any longer about who she was or what she was doing, Theodin grabbed her by the arm, hauled her to her feet, and then ran, pulling her along with him, and dove into the safety of the building. He pushed the sobbing girl over into the corner, covering her mouth with his hand to try and keep her quiet.

It was then that a can nearly hit his head, colliding with the wall, and bouncing away from him. After being momentarily startled, Theodin growled. What on earth could it be now?! What else could possibly happen to him? Why did Sky have to choose tonight of all nights to run off?

"How about you take your hands off my sister!"

Wait...who was that? Theodin stood up, the sobbing girl all but forgotten. "Who's there!" Theodin didn't move from his position, his eyes scanning the store, which was obviously not empty as he had thought it had been. When his eyes finally landed on the boy who had thrown something at him, his red eyes widened. "You!"


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Everett Character Portrait: Johann Makota

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❝ Johann Makota ❞
Advocate Of Boycotting Hazardous Foodstuffs

"W-Who…?" the lump whispered.

Johann blinked at the lump. It speaks! he thought.

Of course it speaks, you moron, said a snide voice in his head. I thought we already established that it was a human?

Oh, yes, that was right. Slowly, Johann tilted his head to the side and squinted at the lump. A pair of startled green eyes stared back at him. A pair of very human green eyes.

Hmm. Now why would there be a person hiding out here in a closed store? In all of his previous experience in sneaking off to Portland, this had never happened before. Was this a new security measure or something? Was that why the door was unlocked? Did they suddenly start hiring tiny people to stake out the stores, hide underneath countertops and give trespassers heart attacks? Geez, he knew Portlanders were a backwards bunch but this was really pushing it…

The lump/human suddenly jolted upwards, taking Jo by surprise and knocking him against the sides of the counter. Right on his elbows. Oh, heck. Seriously, at this rate his bruises were going to have bruises. Fate just loved him today, didn't she?

"Whoever you are, get out of here!" the lump cried shrilly in a high, frantic, feminine voice. Jo winced. Okay. So not only was it a crazy guard-dog-alarm-person-Portland-zombie-thing, it was a crazy girl guard-dog-alarm-person-Portland-zombie-thing.

This was a dangerous creature to face, indeed.

No, I refuse to be vanquished! Jo thought to himself as he straightened from underneath the counter. His hands balled into fists; his eyes blazed with a fiery determination. Fear not, little locket, I shan't succumb to petty fears! No matter what it takes, I, Johann Makota, will—

A can of soda hit him in the face.

"Mother of G—"

Like a homing missile, a box of Frosted Flakes rocketed into his stomach. Johann glared at the visage of the stupidly grinning tiger and inwardly swore to boycott all Kellogg cereals.

"Look, girl-zombie," he said placatingly, trying to be a reasonable human being for once and actually negotiate instead of just flinging stuff back at his attacker. "I think you've got the wrong ide—"

Bam. Jar of peanut butter.

"Oh for the love of—are you even listeni—?"

Bam. High-velocity box of Pop Tarts.

"If you would just let me—"

Bam. Bam. Bam. Can after can of tomato soup flung themselves off the shelves like small, tragic lemmings. A few of them exploded in gooey red fireworks, painting the floors of Stop-N-Save with gruesome slashes of crimson. Jo stared at the sight with a fascinated sort of horror. It looked like a massacre had taken place in the shop. Something involving chainsaws. And screaming. And aliens.

…This was so not his fault.

A malicious-looking can of turnips hurtled in his direction, and Johann finally grew a brain and ducked behind a nearby shelf. He breathed a sigh of relief when the can clattered harmlessly on the blood-stained floor. Er, tomato-stained. Whatever.

"Miss Psycho," he said diplomatically from behind his shelf, "I come in peace. And I'm not here to steal your stuff. Sort of. So if you could, uh, please stop trying to murder me, then that'd be great. Yeah. Thanks." He waited for his assailant's (hopefully positive) response, muscles tense and ready to bolt if he needed to.


Johann let out a slow exhale. The psycho girl had apparently calmed down. Thank God.

Poking his head out from behind the shelf, he chanced a glance at the tiny girl. She was, strangely enough, curled up in a tight ball. Like an armadillo. Or a giant mutant roly-poly. Jo scratched his head in bemusement, not noticing how his tomato-stained fingers were trailing bloody streaks through his hair. That's weird, he thought. Did she suddenly fall asleep? Maybe she's narcoleptic or something. Or maybe it's the stress of her job? This guard-dog-alarm-person-Portland-zombie-thing business must be pretty tiring, after all…

Suddenly he realized that the girl was mumbling something. "No, no…" she was saying, her shoulders shaking ever so slightly.

Ah, so she was awake. Jo glanced at her warily before inching back towards the counter. At the same time, he reached into his sleeve pockets, fingers searching for the tiny bronze locket that he had stashed away with him. Better get this over with before the rabid zombie girl came to her senses and tore his throat out. He was almost at the godforsaken countertop when the girl's voice rose behind him in a quavering warble:

"I had put it right there! On the counter!"

Jo froze.

Counter. Locket. Camera.

Slowly—very slowly—he turned around.

Now that he was paying attention, he realized that the mutant roly-poly of a girl was crying. The quavering voice. The shaking. It was actually kind of obvious in retrospect.

You're an idiot, said the snide voice from before.

Johann grimaced. Well, he couldn't really argue with that.

He approached the girl as he would a wild animal, cautious and wary and with ghost-soft footsteps. He was only a few feet away from her when he stopped, nervous and uncertain. Lightning flashed outside, and for a brief moment the figure of the girl became distinct, framed as it was against the flashing lights of the outside storm. Curled-up and trembling beneath the light of the storm, the tiny, black-haired girl was eerily reminiscent of Annie.

Annie. Mom. Johann stared down at the locket in his hand and felt like the most evil person in the world.

Even so, it was this thought, the thought of Annie and of mothers, that urged him forward in the end. Making up his mind, the boy reached over and plopped the locket on top of the roly-poly-girl's head. Then, with that mission complete, he whirled around with the intent to get the heck out of there before he had to answer any questions that the girl would undoubtedly have about his possession of her beloved locket. Yeuch. He was so not going there. Talk about awkward.

Once again, fate seemed to have other plans, because Jo had barely taken three steps when he slipped on a puddle of blood. Er, tomato. Whatever.

Smooth, said his inner voice.

Shut up, he replied pleasantly, trying to scramble to his feet and massage his elbow at the same time. Needless to say, the results of his efforts weren't very impressive. By the time he actually got to his feet, he was covered in tomato soup and strongly resembled something that had recently died.

Jo took one look at his crimson-slicked hands and decided to boycott tomato soup as well.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Everett Character Portrait: Johann Makota

0.00 INK

❝ Sᴋʏʟᴀʀ Eʟɪᴀs Eᴠᴇʀᴇᴛᴛ ❞
❝ Oɴᴇ ɢᴏᴀʟ. Oɴᴇ ᴛᴡɪsᴛ ᴏғ ғᴀᴛᴇ. Oɴᴇ ǫᴜᴇsᴛɪᴏɴ— wʜᴏ ᴀʀᴇ ʏᴏᴜ? ❞

ImageJust give it up, it's gone already, was the thought that kept repeating itself over and over again in Skylar's head. All she could do now was return home empty-handed, and crushed. The little object no where to be found wouldn't mean anything in less than a year anyways, when she got the cure. And once again, she wondered, would anything matter after the cure? Her siblings? Ginny? Her past?
Would she only care about duty, obligation, and her job?

Two months till evaluation day. Eight months until the cure—less tha—

Now what in the world was that?

Glancing upwards, she saw the blonde haired boy walking towards the door. With the slight movement of her head though, there was the feeling of something sliding, something small, with a chain being dragged along with it. It could only be one thing: her locket.
Fumbling around, she hurried to catch the small object. If it hit the ground, countless things could happen to it. It could slide underneath something, she could accidentally step on it while trying to find it, or maybe it could drown in the pool of tomato sauce now flooding the shop's floor. How ironic that would be, coming here all the way to find a lost locket, getting it back from some strange blonde boy, and then just losing it all over again.

Why hadn't she just waited for tomorrow to come and get it?

After what felt like an eternity, she managed to grab the flimsy chain. Of course, she almost dropped it right after, with the startling sound of shoes sliding across the floor and a loud thud. Oh God, she knew it. The regulators had come inside the shop, and any second by now they'd be dragging her off out the doors, down the side walk, up the stairs, and into her house. And with who? Oh, none other than some random blonde boy that just happened to have her locket.

If only her heart could've just given out then, so that maybe someone would find her in the morning and they'd think a murderer had dragged her out of the house. Then, she would never get in trouble, right? She'd just go on with her life, going to school and hanging out with Ginny, goofing off with her siblings and painting whenever she feels like it.

How credulous Skylar's thoughts could be sometimes.

There were more sounds after that as she dared not to look and see what the cause was, more of what sounded like sliding and slipping. Had the Stop-N-Save been turned into an ice skating rink?

When she finally opened her eyes to see what exactly was happening, she had to cover her mouth with both hands to muffle her laughter. The whole shop was a complete mess, but what was amusing was the fact that the blonde boy was also a mess, now covered and smothered in tomato soup.

Up to now, she hadn't exactly established in her mind what exactly the blonde boy was. But now, he just looked like a bloody chainsaw murderer. Wait, correction—a short, bloody chainsaw murderer.

Basically, the area behind and around the counter now looked like an exact picture of a massacre, minus the corpses, and the blood, which was really just tomato sauce. A small can of grape soda was fizzing out onto the floor under the counter, and some broken pieces of Pop Tarts were scattered near the cash register. And those things were just the little parts of the mess. Tomato soup was everywhere—covering the floor, the sides of the counters, some parts of the windows.

Being slapped in the face always felt horrible, but this was worse. Trouble just seemed to come up to Skylar, and say 'Hey, how stupid can you be?'

"Oh, God. I'm so dead." If Uncle William saw this mess, he'd freak out. He'd probably call the regulators, and they'd use all this technology and stupid devices to figure out who broke into the store and caused the mess. With her fingerprints on all the cans of tomato soup sprawled out across the floor, it'd be as easy as pie to figure out who did all of this.

Carefully shoving her locket into one of the pockets of her coat, she turned around and scanned the shelves for some paper towels. When she finally found them, she headed back where the mess was, having lost all hope of returning home by curfew. How the hell was she going to explain the loss of tomato soup in the shop to her Uncle? Some person just happened to need a ton of tomato soup, and decided to come here out of all the places to go?

If only I had actually listened to what that boy had said. He probably had been trying to convince me to stop, so I wouldn't have made a mess—

Maybe tomato soup would actually make for a good ice skating rink.

All too quickly, Skylar was awkwardly sitting in the newly formed pool of tomato soup after slipping, the paper towels getting drowned beside her. Well, so much for cleaning up the mess.

If only this blonde boy hadn't been here, this mess would never have been formed. She would've gone home with her locket, all fine and not covered with tomato soup, and in the morning Uncle William would find the shop spotless, just like he had left in the night before. Then again... it occurred to her that if the boy had never been there, she would've never gotten her locket. She would've gone home drenched and heartbroken, only to become mute again for another year or so, like the time when her mother had died.

But... why had he had her locket?

Looking up at the back of the boy's head, she wondered why he had it.

1. She had dropped it somewhere else, and he had ended up finding it.

2. He stole it. What kind of bastard would do that?

3. Maybe it wasn't even her locket?

Reaching into her coat pocket, she pulled out the small bronze locket, and clicked it open in silence. There it was—the folded photo, wrinkled from aging. If it weren't for the red coating of tomato soup on her hands, she would've picked out the tightly folded picture from it's wedged position in the locket, but she was almost definite it was the picture of her mother, and that the locket was hers.

It was her locket. The shop was a mess. It was past curfew. She was talking to a boy. She was breaking the law.
Nothing could be worse, so there was only one thing was left to do.

"Who are you?"


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Everett Character Portrait: Johann Makota

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❝ Johann Makota ❞
In Which He Has A Lengthy Debate With His Shoulder Angel

While Jo's coat and boots were waterproof and therefore salvageable, he had no doubt that his pants would forever smell of tomato. This was unfortunate, to say the least. His current bloody appearance, as well as the stench of soup that clung to him like glue, pretty much ensured that there was no way he'd make it back home without notice. The gig would be up the second Paul and Alva got back and demanded to know why everything smelled like tomato soup. And why Johann looked like something had tried to disembowel him.

He shuddered as he imagined what his family would do in response to his little Portland shenanigans. Paul would confiscate his treasury of random useless items (the horror) and then proceed to kill him; Alva would kill him; Annie would kill him; Morgan would kill him; Morgan would then proceed to lock him up in a room with Tallen; Tallen would then proceed to destroy him. And then Caroline would write a book about the tragic and stupid death of one Johann Makota and publish it. The book would subsequently become a best-seller and then the family would become filthy rich, and every year on Johann's birthday they'd shower his grave with blocks of one hundred-dollar bills in tribute to his noble sacrifice.

Johann blinked. Woah. That thought derailed pretty quickly.

Well, even discounting the one hundred-dollar bills, it didn't change the fact that he was going to be—

"—so dead."

It took Jo a while to realize that the girl had said that out loud. After scanning the store with a critical eye—boy, was it a mess—he concluded that yes, the girl's situation wasn't looking too hot either. Especially since she had somehow managed to slip into a blood puddle of her own.

Oh, well, he thought, turning to leave. Not my problem—

Now wait just one second! cried Shoulder Angel. What kind of dastardly villain are you, to leave a damsel in distress alone in a storm of misery?

He made a face. Damsel in distress? She was the one who assaulted me! If anyone's in distress, it should be me!

Foul beast! Whatever happened to accountability?

Accountability, shmaccountability. Okay, that sounded a lot better in his head. Er…in the inside of his head. Or something. What? Anyway, it's not my fault roly-poly-girl decided to wreak havoc!

But it is your fault, isn't it? the Shoulder Angel countered. If you hadn't taken that locket, then none of this would have happened in the first place.

Johann opened his metaphorical mouth to argue, but found that he couldn't. He sighed. Shoulder Angel was right. It was his fault, in a twisted sort of way.

Darn you, Shoulder Angel, he grumbled, rotating 180 degrees and grudgingly marching over to where the girl had retrieved the paper towels. On his way back, he shot a sulky glare at Roly-Poly-Girl. (Or at least, he thought it was a glare. In actuality, it was more of a pout.)

Brandishing fistfuls of paper towels, Johann began staring down the ghastly scene before him. Lake Soup-erior. His nemesis, as of five minutes ago. This was probably going to take years to completely clean up.

He got to work.

Let it not be said that Johann Makota had a lot of common sense.

Curling sheets of paper towels in hand, he had just begun to attack the floors when the girl suddenly spoke up.

"Who are you?"

Why, hello there, Awkward Question Number One.

Johann tapped a bloody finger against a bloody chin, thinking on how to reply. When the Makota's had been choosing their fake names, Johann had wanted something awesome. Something extravagant. Something memorable. Unfortunately, this went against every single one of Paul's paranoid instincts. Thus, "Johann Sebastian Bach" was swiftly vetoed, as was "Johann Le Blehcap," "Johann Nnahoj," "Johann Awesomesauce," and "Johann Shoemowetochawcawewahcatowee." Even Jo's creative attempts at smashing together Paul's fake name with their family surname was met with disapproval ("How about...Johann Mabakortaton! Or Bakomartonta! Huh? What do you mean, it's not cool?"). And so the disheartened Jo was left to scavenge for a name with less overall awesome.

Pausing in his crusade against the dirty floor, Johann flashed the girl a wide grin and swept into a dramatic, flourishing, and altogether unnecessary bow.

"Johann Tallman, at your service!"

(Yes, Tallman. A guy can dream, can't he?)

"What's your name, Roly-Poly?"


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Everett Character Portrait: Johann Makota

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❝ Sᴋʏʟᴀʀ Eʟɪᴀs Eᴠᴇʀᴇᴛᴛ ❞
❝ Qᴜᴇsᴛɪᴏɴ ᴀғᴛᴇʀ ǫᴜᴇsᴛɪᴏɴ ᴀғᴛᴇʀ ǫᴜᴇsᴛɪᴏɴ. Sᴏᴍᴇᴛɪᴍᴇs, ǫᴜᴇsᴛɪᴏɴs ᴀʀᴇ ʙᴇᴛᴛᴇʀ ʟᴇғᴛ ᴜɴᴀɴsᴡᴇʀᴇᴅ, ᴀɴᴅ ᴜɴᴀsᴋᴇᴅ. ❞

ImageOf course, asking him his name is going to help you in so many ways, Skylar mentally scolded herself, honestly surprised that she had blurted out the question. Then again, it was shocking to know she hadn't just ran out of here by now, leaving the blonde boy behind as he was cleaning up the tomato soup lake.

Oh boy, she could imagine the look on his face if she did that.

At that very moment, a part of her couldn't help but scream at the boy in her mind, telling him to just leave over and over again. On the other hand, another part of her was almost dying to figure out more about the strange boy. Anyways, if he happened to be someone infected with the deliria, she'd know who to find if she ever got in trouble with the Regulators, right?

"Johann Tallman, at your service!"

Yo-what now? Now, there was no way she'd ever learn how to say that name, even if it was familiar. She'd heard of a few 'Johann' names before— particularly on LAMM, but never before had she actually met someone with the name. Yeah, her name wasn't a name you'd hear everyday either, mostly from a girl, but at least it was actually easy to pronounce her name.

As she was about to ask him how to pronounce his name, she found herself staring at him, at his grin, to be particular. Some strange realization swept over her at the sight of the carefree smile. No one ever smiled like that in Portland—then again, you barely saw anybody smile at all. Not even the cureds smiled that way, even though it was said the cure would make you happy forever. The only person she could recall that would smile like that, in a manner so daring a bold, was...
Her mother.

Once again, her doubts and curiosity started to prod at the idea of this 'perfect world' they were living in, and most importantly, the 'all important' cure.

And there was the all too familiar thought of her mother standing at the edge of a seaside cliff, the waves willing her to come closer.

"What's your name, Roly-Poly?"

Appreciation filled the gaping black hole that was making it's way back up to the surface of Skylar's thoughts when the boy spoke again, preventing further thoughts about the horrifyingly persistent past. Her mind could've gone on forever, coming up with different possibilities of what had happened on the night when her mother disappeared. It would've been like a never-ending whirlpool, dragging her down deeper and deeper until she couldn't bear it anymore, if it wasn't for this Johann boy.

Then again, none of this would've happened if he hadn't had her locket.

At this point, her mind had become blank when she remembered that she was still living in the present. It was even hard to get her mind to grasp the thought of stating her name. She was most likely looking like some lost puppy sitting on the ground, confused and dumbfounded, in the presence of some animal that was going to eat her. The look on her face probably was of utmost unbelief, like this whole meeting was going to ruin her whole life, and she'd never be able to walk around like some normal person ever again. Here was a scene that someone would probably say only came from fairy tail books, with some guy saving a damsel in distress, but in her mind, this whole meeting was not even close to something like that. In fact, the only thing it probably was in her mind was the exact opposite.

"Skylar... Skylar Everett."

It wasn't until after she had replied that the thought came across her mind that she should've probably come up with a fake name. She still hadn't even thought of the fact that he was cleaning up the mess she created, while she was sitting around in the middle of it all though. Her mind was too busy going it's separate ways—first telling her to get away from this insouciant boy, and then telling her to stay and try to get to know him next. One thought did happen to find it's way across her mind though, and of course, like most of her thoughts, it was a question.

"Why did you have my locket?"

There went Awkward Question Number Two, and the welcoming of a whole load of questions to come.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Everett Character Portrait: Johann Makota

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❝ Johann Makota ❞
You Won't Find A More Red-Handed Criminal

The girl's blank expression at his proclamation did not bode well. Johann gave a dramatic sigh. Yet another victim of his overly flamboyant first name. Here he was, a little guy with a big name, forever doomed to suffer the plight of confused stares and nominal mispronunciation.

Maybe he should have just introduced himself as Jo.

Thankfully, the girl didn't comment, and instead of making fun of his stuffy name, opted instead to introduce herself. Her name, as it turned out, was Skylar. Skylar! That was just a letter away from "Skylark." How cool was that? Forget Blehcap, or Nnahoj, or even Shoemowetwochawcawewahcatowe. "Skylar(k)" had just ninja'ed its way to the top of Johann's List of Most Awesome Names.

Skylar Everett. Skyyyylaaaar. Eeeevereeeett. Wow. The perfect, blissful arrangement of syllables…that there was real poetry. Truly. (No offense, Al.)

As he inwardly enthused on the merits of Skylar Everett's name, Jo continued his valiant attempt at cleaning. After a while, his hand closed around a slightly dented, but otherwise unharmed can of tomato soup. Ooh, a salvageable one! This one was going back on the shelf. No need to thank me, Monsieur Tomato. You're very welcome. And yes, I'm still boycotting you.

He scuttled over to the shelves, stretched upward to place the can back into position—

"Why did you have my locket?"

—and froze. Rather spectacularly, if he did say so himself. He almost fell over, but didn't because he spent way too much time sneaking around and freezing in strange poses to lose control of his balance now.

Okay, so. Locket. Right. There was no way out of this; he'd been caught red-handed. Literally. How the heck was he going to explain this one?

Sorry, miss, but I have kleptomania. It's a dangerous medical condition in which if I don't steal something, I die. Don't take it personally.

No, too callous. And too stupid.

Sorry, miss, it was an accident. Don't take it personally.

True enough, sort of, but it didn't really explain much. And how likely was this Skylar girl going to believe him, anyway? Too vague. Too lame.

Sorry, miss, I was just in the middle of robbing people blind when I randomly had the urge to take your locket, because it's shiny and stuff. Don't take it personally.

No. Just no. Too…too everything.

Johann fought the urge to groan and face-palm. Darn it, this was why he wanted to run away earlier. Stupid chivalry. Stupid guilt. Stupid girl being all curious. Stupid tomato soup, stupid locket, stupid him, stupid everything. Why of why was he still here, cleaning the shop, no less, and not halfway back to the Wilds? Why?

You're an idiot, Shoulder Angel informed him.

Hey, it was your idea to stay here in the first place, Johann replied sullenly.

Yes, but I'm a figment of your imagination. Stupid ideas on my part are, consequentially, stupid ideas on your part.

Darn you, imagination.

The girl, Skylar, was still waiting for an answer. Jo glanced between her and the tomato soup shelf and went through an internal struggle of epic proportions. He told himself he was being stupid. What did it matter, what one small girl thought of him? It wasn't even like he lived here; he was an Invalid for crying out loud! He'd probably never see her again, and they'd part ways with Jo content in the knowledge of a good deed well done (sort of) and Skylar content in the knowledge that some people in the world were just jerks. They'd brush off the encounter, get on with their lives, and eventually forget the whole thing even happened. An inconsequential random event in the vast cosmos of random events. No harm done. Right?

It would be so simple to just bolt right now, but for some mysterious, inexplicable reason…Johann really didn't want the girl to dislike him.

Making up his mind, he set the can down with a determined thud.

He would do this.

Time to pull out the big guns.

(Courage, Johann. Courage.)

"I'm sorry!" he wailed, swinging around with his hands clasped in a way that screamed please-have-mercy-on-my-soul. "I didn't mean to take away something so important to you, honest! I swear it on the moon and stars!"

With the air of a desperate person, he fired his Puppy Dog Stare at her.

"I was gonna return it as soon as I realized—ran over here as fast as I could—I'm just so, so sorry, and I apologize, and I'm so sorry, and I feel like a terrible person and I'm so, so sosososo sorry, please forgive me!"

He finished the emotional speech with a flurry of repeated kowtow-ings, until he realized that the floor was still wet. Semi-cleaned, perhaps, but still smothered in the blood of lifeless tomatoes.

…Darn it.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Everett Character Portrait: Alva Makota Character Portrait: Klein Everett Character Portrait: Johann Makota

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❝ Klein Marth Everett ❞
An Expected Surprise, and the One that Wasn't.

Klein's pace seemingly began to have an affect on his little companion - she seemed a little less enthusiastic to keep up with him as he rounded the corner and noticed the shop. He took the time to focus on it as he neared the little place, and even though it was still raining heavily, a small smile reached his lips. Klein truly did care for that little store, regardless of the arguments over inventory, the feuds over cleanliness, and the battles for shifts that made working there a chore. The people that entered were normal, everything inside there was normal: the store itself was predictable. There was none of this 'random-girl-that-you-just-met-and-could-possibly-get-you-arrested' type of thing, just normality. It was one of the main reasons he believed in the Cure, if he was to be honest with himself: it was completely straitlaced, no twists or sudden changes. It could be counted on as predictable and honest, unlike that... that.. crap that mom was infected by. His mood soured quite a bit as his train of thought switched to his parents, so he shook it away and focused on his goal.

"Are we close to that store?" Klein nodded, and spoke curtly. "It is just up ahead." His tone was that of facts, nothing more - the rain had probably washed away any sentiment of his voice that he had placed in it. As much as he hated to admit it, he was grateful for the lady's company in this journey. True, he would have been much more thankful if he knew who she was, or if this was a pre-determined trip, but never the less a hint of gratefulness was there. Klein snuck a peak at her through his peripherals, and noticed that she seemed to be tiring of traveling with him, which he had to admit was all for the better. No matter how thankful he was, it would be better if they went on their own separate ways soon - he hopefully finding his siblings, and she hopefully doing the same and both of them returning to their daily lives. It was weird to admit that he still had a gut feeling of anger and wariness around her, but it was even more weird to think that he constantly saw her on the streets, and yet came to hating her outright. He shook his head - That is what the cure is for: ridding us of these petty emotions that do not, and cannot make sense.

With that thought strongly in his mind, he reached the store and stopped abruptly as he heard a noise coming from inside. Now he was torn - either regulators were in his shop, and he would be seriously screwed if he opened the door, or Skylar was in there. Talking to someone. Klein narrowed his eyes, seriously confused. Either his mind was playing tricks on him, or there was a male voice coming from inside the shop. At least, it sounded quite male, but it was hard to differentiate from the two genders when the voice was... crying? Whining? Wailing? Klein hadn't the word that he wanted to use to best describe the voice coming from inside. Regardless, it wasn't Skylar's voice, so now the situation changed from earlier. Either a burglar was inside the store whining about their products - HEY! - or Skylar and a boy were talking about something while avoiding the Regulators. Klein had a feeling that it was the second option, since the first didn't seem very likely. Or plausible, for that matter.

Klein would have continued mulling it over, knowing he would have to go into the store eventually to find out, but a flashlight and the stomping of boots stopped his thinking cold. Here he was, standing with a random miss, outside of his shop, where a whiny male voice had recently just stopped. Now, to make matters worse, the Regulators felt it necessary to make their rounds over by the store at precisely this time. Even in the quick fear he felt, Klein couldn't help but let loose a sigh of discontent. Oh, bugger. This isn't going to go over well, now is it. Ignoring any comment that Alva may have made by now, he turned to her, and said quickly ""Well, no time to waste." With that - and Klein assuming that Skylar had unlocked the door to get in, or at least he was praying she did - Klein grabbed this mystery woman Alva by the arm (she really was quite light, if he had to make an observation), turned the handle of the shop, and dragged himself and Alva into the darkness. Klein didn't even bother to think that maybe the Regulators were going to continue forward instead of turning, he just acted as smoothly as he always did.

Klein wasted no time getting to the spot in the corner, dragging the poor Alva along with him. Since he had been in this kind of situation many times before - saving your siblings was quite repetitive, after all - he had a spot he knew exactly where to hide his massive frame: right beside a shelf. Apparently, Regulators never looked in the front corner of a shop, where the window and shelves just ended. There was a little nook tall and large enough for him to stand behind, and even watch the regulators. So, he moved with the speed and grace he always did, except for the girl he was dragging with him. When he finally got into the place and had Alva pretty damn close to him, it all hit him in the face - here he was, dragging a stranger he just met into his store, and was trying to conceal her against his own body. Pretty damn awkward, if Klein could think it straight through. The only reason he had for doing all of this was drilling through his head, keeping him sane through the next few moments: She could be a spy, she could be a regulator, it doesn't matter: if she got caught out there, she could rat on me and the store's inhabitants, and so help me I am NOT leaving my family alone, like before.

Klein watched out the window, listening for footsteps and watching for lights, until it became apparent that the regulators went down a different road. Any speech made by Alva at this time was greeted with a simple "Sh.", nothing more. After a few seconds, he turned his head back, and once again noticed that they were too close for his comfort level. He quickly mumbled an apology. "I... uh, well, I'm sorry for dragging you in here on such short... notice." Klein looked away, and then eased himself out from in between the shelf and the small bit of wall. It was then that he spied two little human beings through the darkness, and finally noticed the destruction of the little shop. A thick red liquid - Klein prayed that it was Tomato Soup or something - covered the walls, the counter, and a bit of the window. He hadn't noticed that before.

When Klein had finished assessing the damage, his face becoming harder to read as he did so - he finally turned back to the little silhouette that appeared to be his sister, and a silhouette of a boy. It hadn't occurred to him that he was probably standing about 6 feet taller than the two on the ground, which may or may not make him look like one of those massive shadow monsters people talk of, so he continued standing at full height. Instead of saying something like 'Thank God I found you', or 'I was worried! Now where are the others?' he had to go and say something like this in a harsh, yet extremely worried whisper.

"Now what in the Blazes has been going on in here, Skylar!?"


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Everett Character Portrait: Alva Makota Character Portrait: Klein Everett Character Portrait: Johann Makota

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#, as written by Mituna

❝ Alva Makota ❞
Walking on cold rage.

The area they were in was a bit too unfamiliar for Alva's comfort. Usually when she came to Portland it was straight in and straight out. Meaning, she would go directly to where she had planned to go and then leave just a quick. It was all caused because of her fear of drawing attention to herself. That being said, Alva avoided the kind of neighborhoods where everyone knew each other's faces in order for others not to question her presence.

"It is just up ahead," Klein answered her question from before. Her body couldn't help but relax a bit as she let out a silent sigh of relief. Her honorable but idiotic act would be finished soon and her search for Paul would continue. A slight frown tugged at her lips at the tiring thought. At least where she was she had a destination in mind. Searching for Paul without a clue to where he might be was too exhausting for her to even think about.

They seemed to have arrived to the store because Klein came to halt. Alva stumbled a bit but managed to regain her balance and stop right along side him. It seemed her legs had gotten accustomed to walking and they felt like they were vibrating now that she had stopped. Alva's eyes glanced over to Klein and she was about to tell him that she should be going her own way now but a noise caught her attention. A strangely familiar noise that was coming straight from the store. Her eyebrows drew together as her eyes stared at the store with a troubled look. It sounded too familiar; almost as if she had heard that noise all her life. No, it must be some stupid cat or something, Alva reasoned in order to calm her nerves since there was no possible way that the only person she knew that could make that noise was in Portland, in that store, without permission. Her thoughts came to a pause as she suddenly realized it was possible — especially if it dealt with that person that she had in mind. Alva found herself caught in the middle of trying to hope that her family didn't choose that day, of all days, to become stupid morons who don't listen to their older siblings like good children should do and the fact that there was no way anyone or any thing could make that noise except her dear little Kleptomaniac brother, Johann Makota.

She had been too busy with the million thoughts in her mind to notice the flashlight and sound of footsteps coming closer to them. Alva only broke out of her trance when she heard a sigh leave Klein. Her eyes seemed to immediately snap towards him and for a second she forgot what exactly she had been stressing over. Just then, she noticed the light breaking through the screen of falling rain. Her body stiffened like a rock like it always did when she caught sight of any regulators. Alva couldn't even began to think about what to do or say because Klein's voice stopped her from panicking. "Well, not time to waste," he said so calmly that it surprised Alva. He then proceeded to take her by the arm, open the store, and pull her with him inside the building. Instinctively, Alva tried to free herself from his grip. She couldn't remember the last time someone other than her family touched her and the fact that it had affected the pace of her heart both worried and scared her. It was a futile though, seeing as the man was huge compared to her and it really didn't help that most of her strength had been used to push her through the storm.

"H-Hey!" she hissed as quietly as she could but loud enough for him to get that she didn't want him dragging her along. Her face had changed temperature drastically and her heart only seemed to quicken. She wanted to free herself from him because at that moment all of her attention was focused on the spot where he was grabbing her arm and that thought was unbearable. What the hell is going on with me? Klein didn't put any mind to her and moved straight to a corner of the store. He seemed to know what he was doing because he headed straight to a large shelf without any hesitation. There was a small amount of space right besides the shelf and soon both Klein and Alva found themselves stuffed in there. Without thinking Alva kept her back pressed again the shelf in order to keep herself as far as possible from the man while at the same time doing nothing to alert the regulators. As much as her efforts were, they were still close considering the amount of space there was to keep them hidden. Her breathing pattern had been broken and become unevenly. Although she wanted to blame it on the fact that everything had happened so fast, she knew that another factor was the close proximity between Alva and Klein. All Alva could hope for was that he couldn't hear the pounding from her chest that seemed to resemble the raging thunder from the storm they were caught in.

"A-Are they...?"

"Sh," Klein cut her off as his eyes watched the regulators through the window that was right besides them. Alva remained quiet after that until he moved his attention back to the situation inside the store. Alva couldn't help but relax once knowing the danger had passed. "I... uh, well, I'm sorry for dragging you in here on such short... notice." That said, he quickly shuffled out from the small space they had been in and Alva followed suit. She settled in saying nothing, not trusting her voice at that moment. Klein didn't seem to have trouble with his, though, because his voice, as much as he tried to whisper, seemed to boom through the building the next second.

"Now what in the Blazes has been going on in here, Skylar!?"

Skylar? Alva's curiosity got the best of her and she stepped out from behind Klein to see what exactly was going on. Her eyes landed on a young girl who seemed to be trying to clean something off the ground. She was young, younger than Alva at least, and she had dark hair with a pair of green eyes. The familiarity that Klein spoke with when he said her name made her assume that she was the sister he had been looking for her. Her eyes then took notice on the other figure besides her.

It was then that Alva froze. It was the only thing that froze too because her insides had begun to boil like the lava from a volcano that was about to erupt. Her eyes narrowed as she tried to channel her fury through the glare she was currently sending Johann. A million ways for her to kill him ran through her head in those little seconds that passed. Forgetting about the presence of the others, her feet began to move her closer to the fool she called her brother. It seemed like her strength had come back because when she grabbed the younger boy by his cloths, Alva nearly picked him up from the ground. "Johann," she stressed his name with all the anger she had inside her. "You better say goodbye to your new friend because it's the last time anybody's going to see you alive!" That's when her anger unleashed. Her grip tightened and she began shaking Johann with all her might. "I mean, what the hell were you thinking?! I didn't know my brother was such an idiot that he would, first of all, disobey his sibling's commands, but put both his life and his family in danger! Oh, I'm feeding you to Tallen as soon as we get home and while she rips you to bits, I'll try deciding which way to destroy whatever is left of you. And once I'm done with you, I'll finally rip off Morgan's stupid hair for letting you get away with this and then choke you with it! Morgan will be pretty pissed by then so I'll let him take his anger on you as well. And let's not forget about Paul! Oh, I can't wait to tell Paul about this so he can kill you — again! And if you're here, Annie is probably out here too so we'll probably repeat the whole damn process for her as well! Damn it all Jo, I'm just so pissed right now that I can't even decide whether I should start your torture by punching you or strangling you!"

Alva was forced to stop describing her younger brother death because of the lack of oxygen. Her breathing had gotten harder as she continued to glare daggers at Johann. It was then that she remembered that the Makotas weren't alone and that she couldn't abuse her sibling in front of people outside her family - what was normal in her family might not be normal for others, after all. Alva's face began to change to a shade of red and it wasn't out of anger. It was more due to the fact that no one but her family had seen her lose her cool like she just did and for some reason she her anger was subdued by the embarrassment. Her eyes flickered from Klein to his sister to the ground before she forced herself to regain her composure. "Ah," she cleared her throat. She quickly changed her grip from the front of Johann's cloths to the back and pulled him towards her; both to make it seem like she was hugging him out of affection and had no intention of harming him and also to keep him from trying to escape. "I'm sorry about... that." She forced one of her best smiles towards them. "That's just how we like to play," Alva added, still with the same smile, and pulled Johann closer into a tighter side hug. "Isn't it, Jo?"